Shell considers legal action following launch of fictitious international campaign
Lawyers operating on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell plc. (Shell) are considering formal action against unknown activists who staged a counterfeit campaign launch event at the Seattle Space Needle.
The groups released a stream of social media content, with the defamatory hashtag #shellfail, which deliberately misrepresents the safety of Shell's drill rigs heading to the Arctic, and extensively violated Shell’s intellectual property rights.
Shell is monitoring the spread of potentially defamatory material on the internet and reporters are advised to avoid publishing such material.
These activists' tactics stand in marked contrast to Shell's transparency regarding the safety of Shell's Arctic efforts. Earlier this week, Shell hosted Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell and Senator Lisa Murkowski on a safety tour of the Kulluk rig, during which the Senator and Governor were soundly impressed by the Kulluk's cutting-edge safety mechanisms.
"We can confirm that this was not a Shell event. Activist groups are becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to block our federally approved right to drill in the Arctic, and are resorting to ever more underhanded tactics," said Curtis Smith, Shell Alaska Spokesman.
"These individuals choose to focus on the safety record of the rigs going to the Arctic, but there have been no accidents involving either vessel and both have been extensively upgraded in a recent $150 million overhaul. We stand confidently behind these measures, which is why we have gone beyond the federally-mandated liability cap of $75 million and have established a $12 billion escrow fund to mitigate any potential risks. Despite this deliberate attempt to frighten the public, it is clear and obvious that Shell takes safety extremely seriously."
Journalists are also warned about a counterfeit website and European billboard campaign launched by the activists. The website, at www.ArcticReady.com, includes fake Let's Go ads, a "Let's Go Ad Generator," and a children's game.
"These people have gone to great lengths to mislead the public about the age and reliability of our Arctic vessels, and otherwise damage Shell's credibility," said Smith. "Shell can obviously not allow this sort of misinformation to proliferate, and we are taking the firmest legal measures against the perpetrators of this campaign."
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