Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dept. of Vapid Greenwashing

This week all the adspace at my metro stop was taken up by an oil corporation trying to convince people that it is thinking about the "new energy future" -- presumably to ensure that future still has a lot of oil consumption. For example.
So ... which type of energy should we unlock? Oh right, the energy that's locked away. No doubt Shell will get right on that. Nice work, marketing geniuses!

Still, on the balance, this batch is less objectionable than the last. For several months, this same metro stop was plastered with ads from Chevron (!!!) featuring attractive people gazing soulfully out of the frame and talking about how they were trying real hard to buy less of Chevron's product. Gah.

The advertising space in the DC Metro system provides amusements like these on a regular basis. My stop gets a lot of traffic from K Street lobbyists and other so-called thought leaders, and as a result we get a lot of "think piece" advertising. Last year we had dueling ads between the "clean coal" lobby and the "clean coal is a myth" lobby. Save the oceans. Fund the CDC. Stuff like that.

On the Orange/Blue line (which connects Capitol Hill and the Pentagon) you will occasionally see actual advertisements for armored troop transport planes, attack helicopters or like, bullet-proof laptops. Crazy stuff. At first my mind was boggled that a defense contractor would spend so much money just to subliminally pry the brains of (literally) a handful of people -- presumably congressional appropriation and DOD procurement staffers -- but then I realized that I have no conception of the type of money defense contractors routinely deal with.

DC, man.

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