ChevWrong - Page 2

Chevron earns record profits -- but isn't reporting the inhuman costs of its global enterprise
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Whether Chevron will be in business as we make the transition depends upon what sort of company it chooses to be and whether the public is willing to support it."

The report also includes a series of large "ChevWrong Inhumane Energy ads" that spoof Chevron's Human Energy ad campaign — images that popped up all across San Francisco last week after a group of renegade Chevron critics gathered at an secret location, mixed batches of wheat paste, and grabbed armfuls of the freely downloadable posters and set off into the night to bomb the city streets with the series of subvertisements.

Claiming that Chevron's Human Energy campaign, which depicts smiling people alongside phrases like "I will try to leave the car at home more" is an attempt to greenwash the petro-giant's activities, this group of mostly youthful critics pointed to the ongoing pollution, human rights abuses, and wars in regions where the oil company is stationed as they set off on bicycles, skateboards, and foot, armed with glue rollers and stacks of "ChevWrong" images. Some stashed their tools in Banana Republic shopping bags, which gave them an almost comical air of being disoriented tourists as they lurked and lingered on city street corners searching for suitable spots to paste their alternative ad campaign.

Soon newspaper racks on Market Street, pillars outside the Ferry Building, buildings in the Richmond District, and walls in North Beach bore the fruits of their work — along with the glass office door of public relations consultant Sam Singer, who represented Chevron in criticizing two renowned Ecuadorian environmental activists who were in town to receive the Goldman Prize.

"I will not complain about my asthma," states one such subversive ad, which depicts a beautiful but non-smiling young black man beside the claim that "Chevron's refinery in Richmond, Calif. poisons the community." The ad is accompanied by a retooled logo that says "ChevWrong."

"I will try not to get cancer," states another that hot glue artists had affixed to Sandra Bullocks' buttocks — or at least a life-sized depiction of the actress featured on a Market Street billboard promoting The Proposal.

"I will suffer in silence" states another, alongside the claim that Chevron props up Burma's military dictatorship.

An ad reading "I will give my baby contaminated water" portrayed a smiling Nigerian woman alongside the claim that Chevron refuses to clean up its mess in Nigeria.

One activist told the Guardian she got involved "because Chevron is poisoning communities and cutting corners across the world, and is even shameless enough to do that here in Richmond."

Another said he was inspired to take this action because of a billion-dollar lawsuit Chevron is fighting in Ecuador, and because of its activities in Nigeria.

Others said they decided to drop the subvertisements all over the city after they heard that CBS Outdoor refused May 14 to sell the group space for the images on billboards citywide.

As they noted, the images are all freely downloadable from truecostofchevron.com, a site supported by Amazon Watch, Crude Accountability, Global Exchange, Justice in Nigeria Now, Rainforest Action Network, CorpWatch, Filipino-American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Trustees for Alaska, Communities for a Better Environment, Mpalabanda, Richmond Progressive Alliance, and EarthRights International.

Mitch Anderson, corporate accountability campaigner with Amazon Watch, confirmed that members of the truecostofchevron coalition approached CBS Outdoor but were told that CBS has a policy not to run negative or attack ads — a claim Anderson found laughable.