Human rights campaigners at Amnesty International have seized upon online marketing to target what they claim is the harmful polluting practices of oil giant Shell.
The campaigning charity has launched a twofold strategy, the first of which utilises the social networking phenomenon, with a campaign of online advertising via such websites as Twitter, Facebook and relevant high-profile blogs.
The online marketing campaign is intended to raise enough money to press on to part two of the campaign – a series of full-page adverts in the traditional press which will be unveiled on the same day as Shell’s Annual General Meeting in London.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Amnesty spokeswoman Naomi McAuliffe explained: “Amnesty is a campaigning organisation and advertising is a great way of exerting influence.”
“Of course it doesn’t come cheap, so we’re looking to concerned members of the public to help us pay for a powerful ad. The AGM is where Shell’s board is held to account by its shareholders, so it’s an ideal time for us to try to influence the company’s policies.”
There is another aspect to the online marketing phase of the Amnesty campaign, however – the charity is hoping that information about the alleged polluting practices of the oil company will increase awareness of environmental affairs and create a viral trend across the internet, with computer users discussing the issue.
The innovative nature of the online marketing drive, raising funds for advertising in the traditional “dead tree” media, has given the campaign a head start – with Amnesty’s bold approach being discussed in marketing forums and the wider media itself.