Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Chamber's Latest: Sometimes, There Just Aren't Words

As far as special interest groups go, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce might just be the #1 Clean Energy and Climate Villain.

Between calling for a "Scopes monkey trial" of global warming science and engaging in a decades-long campaign to defeat legislation that would wean us off foreign oil, the Chamber has done almost everything in its power to stand in the way of clean energy reform. They even spent over a half-million dollars to defeat Martha Coakley in this week's Massachusetts special election for US Senate, boosting a candidate who denies the existence of human-caused global warming and who promised to vote against the clean energy and climate bill now before the Senate.

So we were a bit surprised (to put it mildly) when we saw this sidebar ad from the Chamber of Commerce's multi-million dollar publicity stunt, the "American Free Enterprise" campaign. We took a screenshot of it so its, um, beauty could be preserved forever. It reads:

"American Free Enterprise: Leading the world in clean energy tech will help Free Enterprise create the 20 million new jobs we need. Join the discussion now!"

We chose not to "Become a Fan." No, we don't hate clean energy technology, but we do recognize greenwashing -- especially when it's shoved in our faces.

See, Facebook allows you to target your sidebar ads to users with an interest in particular issues. In this case, we're guessing that the Chamber's greenwashing ad showed up on LCV's page because Facebook has figured out that we're BFFs with clean energy. What that means is that the Chamber is likely specifically targeting Facebook users with an interest in clean energy and climate policy for its greenwashing campaign. Of course the ads don't actually link to any sort of document explaining the Chamber's many proposals for creating clean energy jobs (we would find a blank page especially appropriate for that). They merely take you to the campaign's fan page.

We'll end this post with a quick thought: if McDonald's started targeting vegetarians with an ad campaign promising that the Golden Arches are the future of fresh organic produce, how many do you think they'd convince?

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