Chevron Calls Out Pranksters Who Put Up Fake Site (Update: It Was All A Hoax)

UPDATE: This post was based on a hoax perpetrated by the corporate pranksters/filmmakers the Yes Men, who put out a fake press release under the Chevron name. The quote attributed to Chevron in the post came from the fake release. Thanks to Sara for pointing this out.

Original post:

Angry that someone put up a hoax site that mocks Chevron’s “We Agree” ad campaign, which is meant to convince customers big oil should take responsibility to cleaning up its environmental disasters, Chevron put out a press release that declares it’s out for virtual blood.

Here’s the fake site, which calls for the company to “support small business,” “put profits to good use” and get “behind the development of renewable energy.

And here’s the less-exciting real site, in which Chevron says only that it agrees oil companies should clean up their own messes.

Chevron’s lawyer says in a statement:

“Chevron does not take this attack lightly. We invest extremely heavily in our campaigns, and we take them extremely seriously. Such actions can never be tolerated.”

He adds:

“This hoax is part of an ongoing effort to blame Chevron for 18 billion gallons of toxic waste dumped in the Amazon during drilling operations,” said Rhonda Zygocki, Chevron vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs. “This blame game continues despite Chevron’s long-standing agreement with the Ecuadorian government which very obviously puts the issue behind us.”

Comments

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  1. SuperFlyJedi says:

    the Yes men at it again?

  2. Straspey says:

    “This blame game continues despite Chevron’s long-standing agreement with the Ecuadorian government which very obviously puts the issue behind us.”

    Hmmm….

    I see – because a few corporate executives and some officials from a foreign government signed an agreement, that makes it all okay and the whole thing has just gone away – and we should all just shut up, not talk about it anymore and move on.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The only leg Cehvron has to start on, legally, is that this this purposely makes it seem like they are, in fact, the Chevron corporation. That could be construed as, at the least, brand confusion, and at the most outright fraud.

    But it’s parody, so Chevron should just go fly a kite.

    • SuperFlyJedi says:

      Stand on*

      ….wait…..how do you turn a phrase?

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      I don’t see how this is parody.

      • Gregg Araki Rocks My World says:

        How is this not a parody? Parodies mock and make comments about the original work. This is exactly what happened.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Because this is a *hoax,* not a *parody*. As mentioned, *parody* must be easily distinguished from the original material.

          “Eat It” is parody.
          A white guy singing “Beat It” is not.

          ‘Men at Work’ is a satirical representation of blue-collar workers (and an Indian).
          Dressing up as a cop, pulling people over, and issuing fake tickets is not.

    • Preyfar says:

      Using official graphics, official trademarks, images… I don’t see how this is a parody.

      Parodies change things up, poke fun at or go in a hugely different direction. This is a fake site that’s under guise of being an official site with the company’s trademarked logo. Not a parody.

      Saying “parody” doesn’t mean you get to build a site under somebody’s name and trademark and you’re instantly protected. There’s a reason a lot of parody either A) changes up the names or B) makes it apparent it’s not ENTIRELY legit (the Onion).

      • bravohotel01 says:

        Preyfar: I don’t see how this is a parody.

        When they told you that you’d passed the bar, it was because it was actually a drinking establishment.

      • Difdi says:

        Your lack of a sense of humor is not proof of a lack of parody in the site.

    • invisibelle says:

      I agree that it’s parody, but I think (IANAL) to stand up in court, a parody has to have little chance of being mistaken for the real thing.

  4. digital0verdose says:

    Chevron, why so defensive? If you are truly in the right and have adequately made up for all of the lives you destroyed, then you should have nothing to worry about. Especially if you have paid off local governments to turn a blind eye to such things.

  5. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Is it just me, or does it look like Chevron is running the “FAKE” site, too? there’s no mention of calls for the company to “support small business,” “put profits to good use”

    Maybe Chevrons lawyers threats got them the “KEYS” to the fake site? There is no link to the “press release that declares it’s out for virtual blood.” in the article, either.

  6. Philthadelphian says:

    Obvious mistake in this article:

    Phil wrote: “Here’s the fake site, which calls for the company to “support small business,” “put profits to good use” and get “behind the development of renewable energy.”

    Then: “And here’s the less-exciting real site, in which Chevron says only that it agrees oil companies should clean up their own messes.”

    Actually, the real site says oil companies should “support small business,” “put profits to good use” and get “behind the development of renewable energy.”

    The fake site says (among other things) that oil companies should clean up after their own messes, stop endangering life, etc.

    Mistaking one site for the other kind of misses the entire point of the parody. Oh well.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Call me confused, but the “real” site is at chevron.com/weagree

      How could a site at chevron.com be a “fake” site?

      Answers, anyone?

      • Philthadelphian says:

        That was the problem with the way Phil wrote this article. He confused the real site with the fake site in his descriptions, but not in the links. i.e. He said “here is a link to the fake site where the pranksters said Chevron supports small business” and while the link does go to the fake site, there is nothing about supporting small business or any of the other things he attributed to the fake site. The only things on the fake site are the things he said were on the real site, if that makes sense.

    • invisibelle says:

      +1, I was confused by the way it was written as well.

  7. Thyme for an edit button says:

    Taking it *extremely* seriously, huh? Well, that moves it from taking it seriously level yellow to taking it seriously level orange

  8. zxo says:

    Here’s the fake site, which calls for the company to “support small business,” “put profits to good use” and get “behind the development of renewable energy.

    And here’s the less-exciting real site, in which Chevron says only that it agrees oil companies should clean up their own messes.

    You got the sites backwards, Phil.

    OR DO YOU?!?!?!?!?

  9. NeverLetMeDown says:

    Well, they’ve got a whole fake press release there, using actual employee names, and mixing real and fake links. The only way you can know what’s legit is by looking closely at the URLs. This goes beyond parody, they’re clearly trying to get people to think that the material comes from Chevron. It’s clearly cybersquatting.

  10. Nighthawke says:

    That may be a mistake calling out the jokers. The real meanies (like 4chan) might come out of the woodwork and start hammering on their systems.

  11. dreamking says:

    Bwahahah, thanks Chevron lawyer for reminding people what it is they’re not supposed to be reminded about. +1 gold star.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      Yes, that’s what I was thinking! “This issue is obviously behind us! You know, the issue where we screwed over the Amazon? You know, the toxic waste dumping issue? OK, yeah, you remember now. Well, just forget about it — it’s all behind us!” Nice PR work, Rhonda.

      • theycallmeGinger says:

        Oh, because the press release isn’t actually from Chevron. That, too, is a hoax. Good job on the research!

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    “Chevron says only that it agrees oil companies should clean up their own messes”

    The largest oil spill and they can only agree that oil companies should clean up their own messes? They aren’t even doing that well, blaming everyone but their greedy company and policies for the mess.

    I just want my life back.
    /sails into sunset on massive yacht

  13. Philthadelphian says:

    Also, that press release Phil quoted was fake too. This is incredibly sloppy work.

    The press release was from this site:http://press.chevron-corp.com/ which is not actually affiliated with Chevron. Didn’t it seem odd that their PR flack would specifically mention the Amazon incident?

    The real press release from Chevron:

    “Chevron’s new advertising campaign is meant to identify and highlight common ground on key energy issues so we can move forward safely, intelligently and collaboratively. Unfortunately, there are some that are not interested in engaging in a constructive dialogue, and instead have resorted to rhetoric and stunts. Today, activist groups have attempted to interrupt the conversation by issuing a fake press release and establishing a counterfeit website, which are not affiliated with Chevron.”

    This seriously took about two minutes of internet detective work. I really hope the editors at this site work on an unpaid, volunteer basis.

  14. UnicornMaster says:

    I don’t think it’s as much a hoax as it is political satire. I don’t believe they are doing anything illegal or wrong, and in fact, I encourage many many more websites like this.

  15. invisibelle says:

    They deserve the ribbing, in my opinion. I used to work for a big online ad agency and this is exactly the sort of campaign we might’ve done. If you want to appear genuine as a company, a bunch of slick-looking stuff from an ad agency may not be the best route.

  16. menty666 says:

    Well bully for Chevron. I’m glad they and the Ecuadorian government put the issue behind them.

    I’m sure the people effected by the spill of 18 million gallons of oil are just as happy to just say, “bah, oil under the bridge. S’all good yo!”

    Ugh.

  17. deejmer says:

    Jesus Phil….its like you are TRYING to screw up. Way to mix up the parody, real site, and press release. Now I really have NO idea WTF is going on with this story. Cant wait until the Phillies lose only because it will annoy you, like I am annoyed every time i have to read one of your ill-prepared, non-edited posts. Please Ben….save us from this mind-sucking terror.

    • nbs2 says:

      Do what I do – read his posts for the entertaining comments. The actual content of the post I ignore unless the comments fail to please – and here they have.

  18. dolemite says:

    “Look, we paid good money to that government to shut them up, and here you guys go trying to dredge up old problems again. Let’s just put the past behind us and pretend there were no ramifications!”

  19. psm321 says:

    Did the sites change since this was posted? They don’t seem to match their descriptions in the article at all. (“fakje” one says nothing about small businesses, real one does, etc)

    • Philthadelphian says:

      Read my other comments, posted above. Basically, Phil made some glaringly obvious mistakes when “writing” this “article.”

  20. sopmodm14 says:

    it shouldn’t take a whistleblower to reveal the truth

  21. 99 1/2 Days says:

    Where’s the “flag for review” button for articles? This needs to be pulled pronto.