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Corporate Greenwashing And Other Questionable 'Green' Ads (VIDEOS)

Posted: 10/03/11 10:19 AM ET

Maintaining effective public relations and a positive image with the public are important parts of doing business. But for some companies, this task can prove quite difficult when their products and services clash with public and environmental safety.

For example, ExxonMobil claims environmental safety and low emissions in their ads for natural gas fracking and Canadian oil sands operations. Important figures have come out against both hydraulic fracturing and oil sands production as dangerous practices with lasting consequences.

Take a look at the advertisements below. They are some of the controversial examples of potential corporate "greenwashing."

Be sure to check out the coal industry's ads attempting to rebrand coal as "clean" and the other attempts to clean up negative images surrounding polluters.

Exxon Fracking
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In this ad from ExxonMobil, company geologist Erik Oswald believes natural gas drilling is safe. He says, "When we design any [fracking] well, the groundwater is protected by multiple layers of steel and cement."

But reports show that hydraulic fracturing operations in the past have proven themselves to be environmentally destructive and dangerous. Celebrity activists like Deepak Chopra and Mark Ruffalo have spoken out against fracking and Steven Colbert found humor in a drilling company's PR efforts on his show.

Filmmaker Josh Fox attacked the fracking industry in his documentary "Gasland." He interviewed a number of families with contaminated, and sometimes flammable, tap water who live near natural gas wells.
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Filed by James Gerken  |