FT pull Amnesty's Shell advert

19 May 2010

shell amnesty

Amnesty International don't like Shell very much. They don't like them so much that they've made an advert to slag them off a bit.

It says: "While Shell toasts $9.8bn profits, the people of the Niger Delta are having to drink polluted water." You can see it, there. *points to the right of the article*

However, for some reason, the Financial Times has declined not to publish it.

The FT said they pulled the spot for legal reasons and it was nothing to do with any editorial thinking.

Tim Hancock, Amnesty International UK's campaigns director, said: "The decision by the Financial Times is extremely disappointing. We gave them written reassurances that we would take full responsibility for the comments and opinions stated in the advertisements. Both the Metro and the Evening Standard had no problems with running the ad."

So did the FT see a legal issue that everyone else missed or is there something else at play here?

Of course, it isn't the first time Shell have been accused of being nasty to human beings. We ran a very hypothetical story about them being hypothetically involved in the hypothetical hanging of some hypothetical Nigerians a while ago.

Are Shell a massive pile of horrible bastards then? Someone make my mind up for me in the comments.



  • James
    bit of a type here pal "...Financial Times has declined not to publish it...". double negative, so they are publishing it?
  • James
    before anyone else says it: bit of a typo here pal "bit of a type here pal"
  • One t.
    James, you're an even bigger wanker than I am!
  • James
    Where did my comment go?
  • Big A.
    If you're an oil/fuel company, chances are, you're a complete shower of cunts.
  • Frogman
    Shell (like BP, Exxon and most of the major oil explorers/drillers) make few concessions to the people/environment of the areas that they operate in - witness the millions of gallons of crude oil spewing out into the Gulf of Mexico. We cannot live without oil but we should be able to demand that these companies behave ethically and one way should be that legitimate pressure should be allowed. The FT obviously believes that this would hinder the relationship with Shell; strange as they always believe in the clear line between editorial and advertising when they are trying to sell us something...
  • Jizzlingtons
    I don't give a fuck what shell do, aslong as it makes my fuel a bit cheaper.
  • One t.
    Frog, behaving ethically is a cost, I'm sure you'll be the first to say, "Fuck me! £2.20 a litre!" at the pump. Twat.
  • Jizzlingtons
    Spot on BMW. It's all very well winging about it in imaginery land, but if petrol prices go up then no one's gonna give a shit about those nigerians.
  • Nobby
    Personally I don't give a shit about them anyway. They send me hundreds of spoof emails a year, their water gets polluted. It's about even in my book.
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    Nobby, fuck you. My late great uncles best friend just won the Nigerian lottery, and I'm off to see him next week. Don't speak about my mates like that.
  • F. F.
    Looks like he's going to have to split that lottery winning because I've just won it too.
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGayIsGay
    Ha! What a coincidence! Ive both won the lottery in Nigeria too and also am helping out my dear friend Prince Fredmond of Niger state move $100,000,000 (MILLIONS) out of the country, for a 10% share, all for a paltry downpayment of £5,000. What a week Im having.
  • Nobby
    > $100,000,000 (MILLIONS) You are going to be fucking paupers. I got an email today about an intercepted payment of $250,000,000 of which I can keep 50%.
  • That t.
    These Nigerians are really generous with their money, no wonder that haven't fucking got any!
  • James
    thank you :)
  • Sincere
    Most of the responses here have left the topic of discussion. Ironically, if you trace the origins of many of the emails they're talking about, you find they're from within the UK. I am an IT and security expert so I know what I'm talking about. It's relatively easy for anyone to send an email from anywhere and claim they are somewhere else. The fact is that what the FT has done is wrong. Look at it this way; If Amnesty international wanted to publish and advert that would smear Nigeria I'm sure the FT would jump at it. What is evident from this event is that the developed world does not mean well for the developing world.

What do you think?

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