Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stepping into a new advocacy arena

Independent producers may be descending on Washington in what has become an annual rite of spring. But the American Petroleum Institute also is doing its part in the industry’s fight against the Obama administration’s proposed oil tax increases with television commercials during The Daily Show on Comedy Central.

The messages are brief and simple. They feature everyday people saying new taxes of any kind don’t make sense during a recession. Each one lasts about 15 seconds. API is clearly identified as the sponsor.

Advocacy commercials aren’t new during breaks in The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the back-to-back half-hour programs which broadly satirize current events. It’s refreshing, however, that API hasn’t surrendered this audience to the Clean Energy Lobby which periodically buys time to argue its positions and, occasionally, bash fossil fuels.

Maybe this reflects API President Jack N. Gerard’s statements that the group plans to participate more aggressively in the national energy and environmental policy debate. Its current campaign is a nice step beyond the four-color advertisements in major newspapers and magazines on behalf of “the people of the oil and gas industry” which have been running for years.

It’s also a pretty good bet that API is just getting started in this new direction, and that its messages will show up in other surprising places the next few months.


Anonymous AIR HUGGER said...

This reminds me of the flap the oil industry started against the unfair depiction of Canadian Tar sands Crude oil in the wildly popular movie Avatar. They are good at fanning the flames of non-issues and then having it backfire on them.

See:How Avatar got the most destructive project on earth (tar sands in Canada)- RIGHT! at:

March 3, 2010 at 1:07 PM  

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