Why Lego and Shell Are No Longer Partners

Greenpeace’s media campaign aimed at Lego and Shell. (Screenshot/YouTube)
Greenpeace’s media campaign aimed at Lego and Shell. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Lego has crumbled under pressure from Greenpeace‘s media campaign condemning Lego’s involvement with Shell, after it was revealed that Shell was planning to start an Arctic drilling expedition.

The organization launched a video with the song Everything is Awesome playing while oil engulfs a Lego model of the Arctic. This video had over 6 million views—with an accompanied petition that had 1,019,500 signatures.

Greenpeace’s media campaign Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Greenpeace’s media campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

“We love Lego. You love Lego. Everyone loves Lego. 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,” Greenpeace said. “Children’s imaginations are an unspoilt wilderness. Help us stop Shell polluting them by telling LEGO to stop selling Shell-branded bricks and kits today.”

Greenpeace’s media campaign Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Greenpeace’s media campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Lego and Shell have had a series of co-branding marketing partnership since the 1960s. Lego Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp worte in a statement: “The long-term co-promotion contract we entered with Shell in 2011 delivers on the objective of bringing LEGO bricks into the hands of many children, and we will honor it—as we would with any contract we enter.”

Greenpeace’s media campaign Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Greenpeace’s media campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

“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 Greenpeace’s dispute with Shell,” he wrote.

video with the song, “Everything is Awesome”

And he went on to say: “Our stakeholders have high expectations to 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 that our attention is not diverted from our commitment to delivering creative and inspiring play experiences.”

Greenpeace’s media campaign Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Greenpeace’s media campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

A leading climate scientist, Dr. Simon Lewis of the University College London, applauded the video and said: “The success of the Greenpeace campaign breaking the link between Lego and Shell shows that there is widespread public discomfort at the way fossil fuel companies try to get their ‘don’t worry about the future’ message across by linking to other brands. This is a very positive development, as in my view, society is better served by more transparency and less PR smoke and mirrors.”

Greenpeace’s media campaign Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Greenpeace’s media campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Although not all scientists are happy with Greenpeace’s campaign.

Chris Rapley, a professor of climate science from University College London, said: “We need a sensible, balanced, and intelligent debate with the oil industry in which we critique bad things they do and embrace the positives. The people I talk to in the Shell Scenarios Team are bright, thoughtful people, trying to work out how to navigate a way forward to a better future—accepting that climate change is real, driven by humans, and not likely to be a good thing. It is scientists and engineers like these, not the activists, who in the end will deliver the alternatives to fossil fuels, and are turning companies like Shell from oil companies into energy companies.”

Greenpeace’s media campaign Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Greenpeace’s media campaign. (Screenshot/YouTube)

And he went on to say: “10 out of 10 to campaigners like Greenpeace for wanting to provoke change. 0 out of 10 for this campaign, in my opinion, which might attract headlines and make them feel good, but does not address the real issues, and will not deliver the changes we all need.”

I’m not too sure how it didn’t “deliver the changes we all need,” but I do know it’s one step forward for the environment.

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