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Lego ends Shell partnership following Greenpeace campaign | #Greenpeace #Lego #Shell #Arctic

Toymaker will not renew current multimillion pound deal, that sees Shell-branded Lego sets sold at petrol stations, following a viral video against Arctic drilling by the green group.

Mini activist figures at a Shell gas station in Legoland in Billund, Denmark, part of a global campaign targeting Lego and highlighting Shell’s plans for Arctic oil exploration. Photograph: Uffe Weng/GreenpeaceMini activist figures at a Shell gas station in Legoland in Billund, Denmark, part of a global campaign targeting Lego and highlighting Shell’s plans for Arctic oil exploration. Photograph: Uffe Weng/Greenpeace

Adam Vaughan reporting,

Lego will not renew its marketing contract with Shell after coming under sustained pressure from Greenpeace to end a partnership that dates to the 1960s.

The environmental campaign group, protesting about the oil giant’s plans to drill in the Arctic, had targeted the world’s biggest toy maker with a YouTube video that attracted nearly 6m views for its depiction of a pristine Arctic, built from 120kg of Lego, being covered in oil.

Initially Lego had resisted Greenpeace, arguing that it ought to deal directly with Shell, but on Thursday it will relent. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, the toy maker’s chief -executive, said Lego would honour its existing deal with Shell, which began in 2011, but “as things currently stand we will not renew the contract with Shell when the present contract ends”.

Lego toy sets are currently distributed at petrol stations in 26 countries, in a deal valued at £68m. Lego had previously argued that the relationship had a positive impact on the world by inspiring children with its toy sets.

Greenpeace activists also targeted Legoland in Windsor by dressing as Lego figures, while the campaign video, entitled “Everything is not awesome” attracted 5.9m views.

Greenpeace video calling on Lego to end its partnership with Shell

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said the response from the public to its campaign had been extraordinary in terms of scale and -creativity. “It did touch a bit of a raw nerve about the partnership between the two companies that people thought was completely inappropriate – for a toy company like Lego to partner with an oil corporation – which is a sign of changes that are happening [in public attitudes towards fossil fuel companies],” he said.

He added that he hoped the move by Lego would prompt other organisations that work with Shell, such as London’s Science Museum, where Shell sponsors a climate change exhibition, to think twice about their partnerships.

“Clearly Shell is trying to piggy back on the credibility of other brands. It’s a good PR strategy if you can get away with it. But as we’ve shown, if you can’t get away with it, that social licence is taken away. It does damage them a lot,” he told the Guardian.

Knudstorp, CEO of the Lego Group, said in a statement on Thursday: “The Greenpeace campaign uses the Lego brand to target Shell. As we have stated before, we firmly believe Greenpeace ought to have a direct conversation with Shell. The Lego brand, and everyone who enjoys creative play, should never have become part of this dispute between Greenpeace and Shell.

“Our stakeholders have high expectations of the way we operate. So do we. We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace that may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders about the way we operate, and we want to ensure our attention is not diverted from our commitment to delivering creative and inspiring play experiences.”

A spokesman for Shell said that the company enjoyed a successful and productive relationship with Lego. Of the Greenpeace campaign, he said: “We respect the right of individuals and organisations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about meeting the world’s growing energy needs. Recognising the right of individuals to express their point of view, we only ask they do so in a manner that is lawful and does not place their safety or the safety of others at risk.”

In January, Shell shelved its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer, citing poor market conditions and internal failures. But in August, the company submitted a new offshore drilling plan to US authorities that could pave the way for the company to explore for oil in the Arctic in 2015, off the coast of north-west Alaska.

A Shell oil drilling rig which ran aground in Alaska on 1 January 2013. Photograph: Rex FeaturesA Shell oil drilling rig which ran aground in Alaska on 1 January 2013. Photograph: Rex Features

Mark Borkowski, a brand consultant and founder of PR company Borkowski.do , said the co-promotion with Lego would have had “huge value” for Shell. “Kids have a very honest and pronounced view on things such as the Earth and animals. I wondered why Lego with such a strong brand and such dominance would get into bed with Shell,” he said.

“Greenpeace have done an outstanding job, to apply the pressure. This is a wake-up call to oil and gas and other energy companies, that need to recognise they cannot lobby the [younger] generation that is going to inherit the Earth. Their spin machines need to wake up to that.”

Lego’s partnership with Shell dates to the 1960s and has involved Shell-branded toy sets being sold around the world.

The Danish company prides itself on its green credentials, from energy efficiency to the use of renewable energy, and says that it is looking for alternatives to the crude oil from which it currently makes its bricks.

The Guardian.

#Japan to resume ‘research’ #whaling in 2015

Published on 9 Jul 2014

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, says his country will abide by the decision passed down by the international court of justice and adds that differences on whaling between Australia and Japan should not impact on ‘favourable bilateral relationships’. Abe also says Japan will resume whaling for ‘research’ purposes but that the country is a ‘good international citizen’ and will adhere to the ICJ ruling.

Source: Frank Leen – Youtube

Wired UK: Greenpeace is right, Shell-branded Lego is ill-judged

Lego’s brand partnership with Shell is ill-judged, argues Katie Collins, Junior Staff Writer, Wired.co.uk.

Greenpeace has created a parody video entitled Everything is NOT awesome as part of a campaign to bring to an end Lego’s brand partnership with oil company Shell.

Put together by London creative agency Don’t Panic, the video depicts Lego minifigs, including Father Christmas, huskies and polar bears drowning in oil with a maudlin version of Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie soundtrack as backing music. As you might imagine, it’s pretty dark, but it’s also very effective.

“We love Lego. You love Lego. Everyone loves Lego,” the video caption states. “But when Lego’s halo effect is being used to sell propaganda to children, especially by an unethical corporation who are busy destroying the natural world our children will inherit, we have to do something.

Read the full story here

We love LEGO. You love LEGO. Everyone loves LEGO.

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#Environment Agency claims #fracking risks have been ‘exaggerated’

Fracking Chemicals

RISKS of fracking have been “exaggerated” and should not be ruled out in national parks, according to the head of the Environment Agency.1

Agency chairman Christopher Smith said hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – could be “useful” in helping Britain to reduce its reliance on imported gas because it causes “minimal visual intrusion” to the environment.

The fracking process involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into rock deep underground at high pressure to extract shale gas and oil.

There is potentially more than eight billion barrels of shale oil under the Weald basin in Sussex – but critics argue the process contaminates water supplies and can cause earthquakes.

Lord Smith, who is due to step down next month, said he did not agree with the concerns of anti-fracking campaigners.

He told a national newspaper: “The campaigners fall into two camps. One is very much campaigning against the local impact of drilling at particular sites.

“Provided it’s done carefully and proper regulated, those fears are definitely exaggerated. There’s another set of campaigners who say, ‘This is a better fuel to burn than coal but it’s still a fossil fuel and we ought to be putting everything into renewable and not doing shale gas at all’.

“I don’t agree that with analysis because we aren’t yet ready to see 100 percent of our energy requirements being produced from renewables.”

He said he would not rule out fracking in national parks like the South Downs because “provided it’s being done properly, the visual impact can be very limited indeed. It will depend on any individual location”.

He said: “The South Downs National Park Authority is currently considering an application from Celtique Energie to exploratory drill for shale oil and gas in Fernhurst, near Chichester.”

Energy company Cuadrilla Resources has been actively testing at a site in Balcombe for more than a year, but has ruled out fracking.

A spokeswoman from Britain and Ireland Frack Free said: “Lord Smith’s view on fracking is an indication that the government, and agencies, are wilfully choosing to ignore the large amount of peer reviewed scientific reports that prove fracking is not and cannot be made safe. The continued reference by agencies and individuals that fracking will be ‘safe’ if ‘properly regulated’ is a betrayal to the public.”

From:The Argus Header Logo

  1. I always thought that the ‘Environment Agency’ was FOR the Environment and not against it as it would appear here in the UK. 

#Fracking will put at risk our clean water supplies

A fracking protest at BalcombeA fracking protest at Balcombe

During the last couple of weeks correspondence/reports to The Argus about fracking have been numerous, expressing concern that proposed planning decisions have been put on hold for more evidence to emerge.

The Government plan to introduce legislation for oil/gas companies to conduct drilling exploration beneath areas is totally undemocratic.

All political parties carry the responsibility for this. Democracy is being replaced by hypocrisy.

Decisions on fracking for gas/oil must be left in the hands of local communities not Government.

Westminster needs to be firmly reminded of this.

Future generations must be protected to ensure environmental safeguards are maintained.

The future availability and supply of clean water within society is of paramount importance.

It must not be exploited by Governments or multinational firms.

No gas – no lights?’ – ‘No water – no life!’ J Burns, Henfield.

From:The Argus Header Logo


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