Greenpeace continued its publicity war against Shell with a pretty magnificent prank at a Formula One race sponsored by the oil company.
The environmentalists snuck into the site of the Shell Belgian Grand Prix and planted two remote-controlled banners bearing a logo for SaveTheArctic.org, a Greenpeace website created to mobilize public support against Shell’s plans to study Arctic drilling.
Greenpeace activated one of the banners during the trophy presentation that followed Sunday’s race, prompting a man in a suit to climb on-stage to take it down as the German national anthem played behind him. As the man finished pulling down the first banner, Greenpeace released the second.
The video drew 240,000 views on YouTube before F1 asked that it be taken down for copyright reasons, according to Media Bistro. In addition to the remote-controlled banners during the trophy presentation, Greenpeace unfurled a pre-race banner that read, “Arctic Oil? Shell no!”
Greenpeace’s latest viral prank aimed at Shell follows a 2012 stunt in which the group created a fake Shell website, arcticready.com, that invited users to create memes in “support” of Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic.
Environmentalists responded with a bevy of biting slogans like “You see nature. We see possibility,” and “Unfortunately we won’t be able to take these icebergs with us to hell.”The campaign was so well-executed that a number of media outlets initially thought it was a real Shell marketing effort gone wrong.
Shell later cancelled its 2013 Arctic drilling plans, but it has since filed permits to study oil prospects in the region.
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