Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp has stated that the company will not renew its partnership with Shell gas stations. This announcement comes at the end of a three-month campaign led by Greenpeace against Arctic drilling.
The partnership, begun in 2011, involved Lego toys being handed out at Shell gas stations in 30 countries to customers who filled up with a minimum amount of gas. Greenpeace opposed the partnership due to Shell’s involvement with a plan to drill for oil in Alaska beginning next year.
Greenpeace started their campaign by posting a video to YouTube called “Everything is NOT Awesome,” which featured a depressing, minor-key version of the song “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie and featured Lego people, animals, and terrain being drowned in oil. The video got more than six million views. When it was taken down due to accusations of copyright infringement, public outcry caused it to be restored 18 hours later.
Greenpeace said the campaign was supported by a million people world-wide and was pleased to see what they view as the positive result of their efforts, calling it “a huge blow to Shell’s strategy of partnering with beloved brands to clean up its dirty image as an Arctic oil driller.”
The campaign also involved several other protests, including a group of young children who built Arctic animals out of huge Legos outside of Shell’s London headquarters and more than a million emails to Lego asking them to end the deal with Shell.
Lego CEO Knudstorp’s statement explained that Lego will not renew its agreement with Shell, but also expressed frustration with Greenpeace for using Lego in its argument with Shell rather than dealing with Shell directly. “As we have stated before,” wrote Knudstorp, “we firmly believe Greenpeace ought to have a direct conversation with Shell. The LEGO brand, and everyone who enjoys creative play, should never have become part of Greenpeace’s dispute with Shell.
We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace that may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders about the way we operate.” He also wrote that Lego does not want to be involved in Greenpeace’s campaign and will offer no further comment.