Since September, Al Gore’s We Campaign has been running their Repower America advertisement that criticizes the “hundreds of millions of dollars” that big oil spends on lobbyists and ads to keep Americans “stuck with dirty and expensive energy.” Coverage of the presidential race by the corporate media has been fueled by this dirty money — CNN is sponsored by the coal industry, and CBS by Exxon Mobil. And following Tuesday’s presidential debate, ABC aired one of Chevron’s greenwashing “Human Energy” ads. But ABC refused to air “Repower America.”
A spokesperson for the Alliance for Climate Protection, the We Campaign’s parent organization, sent the Wonk Room ABC’s excuse:
Per our Guidelines, national buildings may be used in advertising provided the depictions are incidental to the advertiser’s promotion of the product or service. Given the messages and themes of this commercial, the image of the Capital building is not incidental to this advertising. Please replace the image with one that is not of another national building or monument. Thank you.
Here’s the offending image, on screen for one second:
While running ads calling for conservation and depicting happy children and unspoiled nature, Chevron was simultaneously expanding its operations in the tar sands of Alberta, Canada and oil fields of the Niger Delta, and lobbying to lift the offshore drilling moratorium.
Cathy Zoi, CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection, sent the following message to the 1.6 million members of the We Campaign:
I sent a letter asking ABC to reconsider their decision and put our ad on the air, but still we haven’t heard back more than a week later. I think they need to hear from all of us. Can you help? Please send a message to ABC and tell them to air the Repower America ad this Friday on 20/20. Just click here:
We’re working to get 100,000 public comments to ABC before 20/20′s next airing.
Our Repower America ad has a clear and simple message — that massive spending by oil and coal companies on advertising is a key reason our nation hasn’t switched to clean and renewable sources for our energy.
UPDATE 10/10/08: Cathy Zoi writes:
In just 24 hours, more than 100,000 folks sent messages to ABC in support of airing our Repower America ad. But we still haven’t heard from ABC.