Greenpeace continued its campaign against LEGO on Tuesday with the release of a dramatic video, called “Everything Is NOT Awesome,” aimed at further illustrating the reasons the toy company should sever its ties with Shell, which Greenpeace contends is putting the delicate Arctic marine environment at risk through its oil drilling.
"Every company has a responsibility to choose its partners and suppliers ethically,” said Mel Evans, Arctic Campaigner at Greenpeace. “LEGO says it wants to leave a better world for children, yet it's partnered with Shell, one of the biggest climate polluters on the planet, now threatening the pristine Arctic. That's a terrible decision and its bad news for kids. We're calling on LEGO to stand up for the Arctic, and for children, by ditching Shell for good."
Don't Panic's Creative Director, Richard Beer, said**:** "We love LEGO. That's why it's so sad to see LEGO being used by Shell to advertise to children like this. We hope our video strikes a chord. We hope it captures the sadness we all feel that one of our fondest childhood icons is now being used to pollute children's imaginations."
The campaign targeting LEGO's deal with Shell launched last week and already has almost 310,000 petition signatures. Thousands of fans have flooded LEGO's Facebook and Twitter pages urging them to end their dealings with Shell.
LEGO president and CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp responded to the campaign by by saying his company’s partnership with Shell was a way of putting "LEGO bricks into the hands of more children" and that LEGO "expect(s) that Shell lives up to their responsibilities wherever they operate." He also said LEGO "intend(s) to live up to the long term contract with Shell."
Greenpeace responded by asking: "Does the world's most profitable toy company have to put aside its stated values in order to increase its sales? Would LEGO partner with a cigarette company to help bring its bricks to the masses?"
Greenpeace explained LEGO's deal with Shell generates kudos and tacit support from millions of people, not to mention children, for Shell's operations.
“Children form strong emotional attachments in childhood that last a lifetime, and companies know that all too well,” said Susan Linn, psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood. “Adverts aimed at children are bad enough, but branding their favorite playthings gain companies like Shell many hours and even days of their dedicated time, energy and love. We need to protect children’s imaginative play from branding for many reasons, including the important need for them to explore their own ideas and develop their own world view.”