Greenpeace vs. Lego, was the outcome worth the effort?
News that Lego firmly rejects the Greenpeace campaign against it working with Shell emerged the other day.
See: here for the CEO statement.
The real upshot?
Lego won’t work with Shell to promote Lego products to kids beyond the current deal.
That suits both Greenpeace and Lego.
GP claims ‘victory’, whilst Lego says it hasn’t given in to brand blackmail and hasn’t broken a business deal with Shell.
Shell, meanwhile, probably don’t care that much either way.
Whatever the outcome, Greenpeace is going to continue to target them anyhow.
I am a monthly donor to, and member of (if such a thing as membership exists beyond marketing) Greenpeace.
But I was not a fan of the recent Lego campaign. It struck me as dreadfully opportunistic and immature. And whatever the outcome, it won’t make a blind bit of difference to Shell.
It was just another excuse to target a vulnerable brand with a small connection to a bigger target.
Excellent for publicity. But also useful evidence for opponents to point out how Greenpeace can be very small minded and is consumer brand focused to the point of hysteria.
I appreciate the campaign against Shell drilling in the arctic is a difficult one for Greenpeace.
But there are surely better ways (safety grounds, spill responses, regulatory breaches, stranded asset arguments etc) than going after brands like Lego with the goal of changing Shell’s business plans.
Greenpeace has built a lot of credibility with big business on issues such as deforestation/palm oil in recent years.
The international leadership needs to reflect on that, and the damage that may be done to their ability to change big business supply chains for the better (as they have helped do on soy, palm oil and forestry) if they lose brand trust (in both senses) by launching more tenuous campaigns such as that against Lego.
Just because you have tools, that doesn’t mean you should always use them.