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The Big Oil Instagram Influencers Are Here

June 15, 2021

“Oil companies ‘have gone digital, and they’ve gone more subtle, but there’s no denying the fact that these messages are not simple product advertising'” – Geoffrey Supran, CSSN Director of Accountability Communications, speaking with Earther.

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“The oil industry has been essential to the invention and perfection of propaganda techniques for 100 years,” said Geoffrey Supran, a researcher at the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University and director of Climate Accountability Communication at the Climate Social Science Network at Brown University. “Since the very beginning, they’ve been using advertising in various ways, especially since the rise of environmentalism and then climate change from the 1970s through the 1990s.”

Oil companies “have gone digital, and they’ve gone more subtle, but there’s no denying the fact that these messages are not simple product advertising,” Supran said. “These are the modern manifestations of the PR techniques Big Oil helped create.”

“There’s a social media loophole the size of an oil tanker in terms of how the fossil fuel industry gets away with brazen political advertising, hidden behind the veil of corporate green talk,” said Supran.

“I feel as though we’re going to see a doubling down on efforts to protect social, political, and legal legitimacy,” said Supran.

 


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