#ShellFAIL: Viral Video Turns Out to Be A Big Arctic Hoax

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2
June 8, 2012

It seems Shell’s upcoming arctic drilling operations have become the butt of an elaborate hoax by environmentalists that has gone viral.

The video appears to have been shot at a Shell-hosted sendoff event for Shell’s arctic rigs, Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, at the Space Needle in Seattle. During the event, a woman approaches the miniature model rig designed after the Kulluk that was supposed to pour drinks for guests when, well, it uncontrollably shoots said brown drink all over said woman. Queue the bad acting and some forceful “can I have that phone”, and about 500,000 views less than 24 hours later, it’s an internet sensation with probably half the viewers believing it to be true.

Enough with the explanations, check out the video for yourself.

The #ShellFAIL Video

Following the video, the perpetrators even issued a fake press release on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell threatening legal action against the people behind it. Talk about elaborate!

But Shell offered the following statement on the matter:

“Recently groups that oppose Shell’s plans in offshore Alaska have posted a fraudulent video that appears to show Shell employees at an event at the Seattle Space Needle. Shell did not host, nor participate in an event at the Space Needle and the video does not involve Shell or any of its employees. We continue to focus on a safe exploration season in 2012.” via Jalopnik

24 hours later the videos origin was revealed as the works of the media-savvy Yes Lab, Greenpeace and the apparent video infiltrator, Logan Price, of the Occupy movement. Here’s a look at the making of #ShellFAIL.

Off all the reports I’ve read on the hoax, one statement stands out to me and comes from perhaps the most unlikely of places:

“This experience shows that a few energized people can compete with the billions that Shell spends on advertising and lobbying” – James Turner from Greenpeace

These guys definitely know how to play the game.

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