Before moving to D.C. for the summer, it was commonplace for me to sit on the subway on my commutes in Brooklyn and see ConEd ads that encouraged people to use energy responsibly. The power company encouraged people to use more energy-efficient light bulbs and windows or to not leave the water running. These ads did not bother me much because, they actually included helpful information and specific facts. They were effective because they were aimed at a captive audience: as people sat on the subway, they were likely to read what was posted along the cars.
In contrast, the series of ads by Chevron posted all around Washington, D.C., makes me absolutely sick. If you've set foot on a D.C. sidewalk, you've seen them. They are everywhere. The messages on the ads read “I will use less energy,” or “I will leave the car at home more”.
Are you kidding me, Chevron?! Yes, Chevron is the largest producer of geothermal energy. They are also the second-largest U.S.-based oil company, support drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR), hold stakes in Dynergy, are responsible for Superfund sites
, evade taxes, and have a record of being environmentally irresponsible. (Don't take my word for it, just look at what they did in Ecuador
.) Chevron might support your leaving your car at home -- if you are instead taking your SUV.
I have also noticed (and have a problem with) the company primarily using the faces of minorities on these ads. Now, it could be a coincidence that the most recurring advertisements have the faces of hispanic and black people on them. However, I believe this was done on purpose. For what reason, I don't know, but it just looks and smells fishy. I suppose these advertisements do serve as pieces of art -- propaganda so ridiculous that it is laughable.
Did Chevron really believe we all wouldn't see right through them?