On October 18, Chevron released a new ad campaign called "We Agree," with the tagline "You Might Be Surprised What We Can Agree On." But Chevron itself was surprised to find that a fake version of the same campaign had been released hours earlier, fooling some news organizations.
The Yes Men, the prankster duo known for highlighting corporate crimes by releasing fake news (past targets include the Dow Chemical Company, the World Trade Organization, the World Economic Forum, and the New York Post, to name a few), had kidnapped Chevron's ad campaign and made it their own. In an amazingly accurate false website and press page, the Yes Men redefined Chevron’s values. A false press release quoted the marketers behind the campaign: "We were asked to show an agreeable, involved, of-the-people face for Chevron, and we think we came up with some really great ways of doing that. But what’s unique and different here is the honesty. We've never been able to do this before."
When news organizations caught onto the ruse, the Yes Men were ready with a second fake press release, this one quoting Chevron officials condemning the prank. Referencing a pending lawsuit filed by 30,000 Ecuadorians, one of the fake officials said, "We have binding agreements with the Ecuadorian Government exempting us from any liabilities whatsoever."
View the photo essay to check out the fake ads—and how they compare to Chevron's real campaign.
- : An interview with Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men.
- Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno show how they pull off their anti-corporate stunts.
- : A prank website inspired by the Yes Men brought France's colonial crimes into the spotlight.
- : GLEE-inspired activism for a democracy run by human beings, not corporations.