Over the top? Hyperbole? Perhaps. But it seems clear to me the video is a satirical way of attacking Exxon Mobil.
Exxon doesn’t like it.
A news release from the group that made and wanted to air the video in paid commercial time said the ad was scheduled to be aired on several network affiliates in Little Rock this week until Exxon objected and then the ads were declined.
“Exxon is and will always be a bully,” said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. “Instead of engaging their critics appropriately, Exxon uses its billions to hire high-priced lawyers to make scary-sounding but unsupported legal claims to suppress criticism. It’s a window into how they have preserved billions in taxpayer handouts for their industry for so many years.”
Exxon has distributed this defense of itself, calling the ad defamatory. Exxon employees don’t hate children, it says.
Oil Change International defends the ads here as satire and parody.
I asked a spokesman for Exxon if the company indeed had objected to airing of the video in Arkansas. The response:
The advertisement is offensive, nonsensical and fails to meet any basic standard of accuracy, so we requested that the TV stations reconsider airing it.
Alan T. Jeffers
Media Relations Manager
Exxon Mobil Corporation
UPDATE: I talked with Mike Vaughn, general manager at Channel 4, one of several stations the Oil Change group had contacted about the ad. He said the station had never agreed to run the ad because “it didn’t meet our standards.”
On the jump read the full news release from the group backing the ad: