Greenpeace is claiming victory today after its high profile campaigning efforts led to Lego pulling out of a $US110 million marketing contract with oil giant Shell.
The environmental campaigners created the stark but very slick “LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome” film in July in protest of the partnership. The deal saw Shell-branded Lego toys sold at the oil company’s gas stations in 26 countries since 2011.
The rather harrowing video depicts Lego huskies and polar bears drowning after what looks like an Arctic oil spill — referencing Shell, which in August signaled its intentions to drill for oil in the region:
The film instantly became a viral hit and has ratcheted up more than 5.8 million views. Greenpeace activists also targeted the Legoland theme park in Windsor, England, dressing up as Lego figures.
At first Lego had resisted Greenpeace’s protests, with its CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp saying the company was “saddened when the Lego brand is used as a tool in any dispute between organisations.”
This morning (October 8), however, Vig Knudstorp put out a new statement, which was still derisory of Greenpeace using Lego as a campaigning tool, but clarifying that the company will not renew its co-promotion contract with Shell when the current deal ends.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, told The Guardian that the response to its campaign had been “extraordinary” and was a sign of changing public attitudes towards oil companies.
He added that he hopes Lego’s move will prompt other organisations that work with Shell, like London’s Science Museum which houses a Shell-sponsored exhibition on climate change, to also consider their partnerships with the oil giant.
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