When one of Canada’s most influential oil lobby groups set out to cleanse its image of an industry proven to drive global heating, it designed a splashy advertising offensive to change public perception.
In the ads, the six oilsands majors that make up the Pathways Alliance — Suncor Energy, Imperial Oil, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips, Canadian Natural Resources and MEG Energy — present themselves as on a mission to play their part in an era of decarbonization.
To spread the word, the alliance grabbed some premiere advertising spots. “Let’s clear the air” commercials played during the FIFA World Cup, Australian Open, 2023 Super Bowl and even on airplanes before takeoff, as anyone flying on Air Canada recently can attest. Those ads show oil and gas workers bathed in soft light, walking to the sound of optimistic music with a forest behind them, as a narrator readily admits oil production creates carbon emissions, and it’s time to do something about it.
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