Chevrons New Ad Campaign Comes Under Fire

Consumer group attacks oil company over politics.

After Chevron’s recent launch of its new “Human Energy” ad campaign, The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and its OilWatchdog.org project have called on Chevron CEO David O’Reilly to “immediately sever Chevron’s ties to Myanmar’s brutal government and personally speak out against its violent suppression of peaceful protest.”

In a letter to O’Reilly, OilWatchdog cofounder Judy Dugan said, “Your ad campaign, which a Chevron official said would cost ‘in the high tens of millions’ of dollars, portrays a company that deeply cares about the world and its future. Given your investment in Myanmar alone, that is a gauzy, gorgeous lie.”

According to the FTCR’s claims, Chevron has a stake in natural gas fields in Myanmar through its 2005 purchase of Unocal. Unocal’s 28% ownership of natural gas fields with the French oil company Total was, along with other existing investments, excluded from an embargo by the U.S. and European nations.

“It is surprising that the 2005 change of ownership did not trigger demands for disinvestment by the embargo partners,” said Dugan. “Chevron should divest now as a moral imperative.”

The letter (available for viewing at www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ChevronMyanmarLetter10-1-07.pdf) goes on to argue that the company’s lack of support for the political uprising in Myanmar contradicts the peaceful, productive tone of the ad campaign.

“We urge you to immediately sever Chevron’s ties to Myanmar’s brutal government and personally speak out against its violent suppression of peaceful protest,” the letter said.

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