It’s been hard to miss the onslaught of television and full-page print ads trumpeting how environmentally friendly the oil sands are. (They’re called “oil sands” now, not the more apt “tar sands.” Big Oil: 1, Earth: 0.) They all feature photography of “real people” – do-gooders all – against a natural backdrop. You know the ads are authentic because the skies are not blue. They’re grey, and the lighting is all dark and sombre. This isn’t just a PR-job. This is a realistic assessment of the situation. And you know what? It ain’t as bad as it’s being painted by David Suzuki and his followers. And Big Oil is really trying to do a good job. Which is why they’re shoveling so much money into these ads.
When I looked for a spokesperson to use for this cartoon, I found that the person behind this campaign, Janet Annesley, VP Communications, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, had a video online in which she talks about her motivation, inspiration, etc. – all very much like the ads she has commissioned. Yes, her father and grandfather were in communications. (Since this cartoon was printed in the December issue of Alternatives Journal, the video has been pulled from the oilweek.com Rising Stars feature, though her name is still on it. A screen capture is below.)
But nobody will know. They’ll think I’m just being over-the-top again. Sigh.