In August, The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson noted that the coal industry had contracted a PR firm to promote its “FACES of Coal” campaign. To attack clean energy reform, the campaign featured pictures of seemingly normal individuals opposed to cap and trade legislation. However, the Appalachian Voices’ Front Porch blog revealed that the “FACES” of the coal campaign were actually stock images purchased from iStockPhotos.com.
The oil industry, under the umbrella lobbying group American Petroleum Institute (API), is copying that strategy. In a newly-released pamphlet, API fear-mongers that “hard working Americans,” like ordinary “valets,” “painters,” “day care providers,” and “rocket scientists,” will lose their job and be “hurt” by clean energy reform. To show the great diversity of those affected by the legislation, API decided to buy a stock image also from iStockPhoto.com. Apparently, the stock image was insufficient for API’s purposes. Upon close examination, it’s clear API photoshopped two of the people to turn them into minorities. One of the minorities, the individual on the left, is poorly photoshopped though — his face is brown, yet his hands are still white:
The original iStockPhoto:
The edited, API version (click here to view the pamphlet):
The PR firm representing the oil lobby, Edelman, clearly did a shoddy job in creating this marketing effort. But this pamphlet reveals a fundamental truth that the oil industry is paying lobbyists to literally manufacture support. (HT: Astrotruth)