Greenpeace, probably the world’s best known global activism charity, have been on the campaign trail, and oddly it affects our favourite little plastic bricks.
The LEGO Group has had a 50 year partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, featuring the petroleum brand on its Town sets before the arrival of the fictional ‘Octan’ brand in 1992, and more recently selling unique LEGO sets in Shell petrol stations.
Shell are an oil exploration company, and thus they explore the furthest reaches of our planet in the search for black gold. Most recently this has involved exploration in the arctic, much to the annoyance of Greenpeace.
In response the charity started a rather clever and actually quite original campaign to pressure LEGO into dropping Shell as a partner. Despite LEGO stating Greenpeace should take up their issues with Shell directly, the company has now bowed to pressure and decided not to renew their partnership with Royal Dutch Shell. What this means for LEGO’s other partnerships (e.g Ferrari, which are themselves sponsored by Shell) is unclear, but it will likely result in the end of the exclusive Shell sets in the near future.
We’re not quite sure how the termination of this partnership protects the arctic, or that Greenpeace understand irony (LEGO is made from plastic, and plastic is made from oil), but it does show that LEGO is seen as beloved moral brand, and that this is perceived to be at odds with some of their partnership choices.
We, being a car blog and understanding both irony and global economics, disagree with Greenpeace on this particular issue, but props to them for raising awareness of the LEGO brand – it’s done The LEGO Group no harm at all.
You can read more about the Greenpeace campaign and the response from both The LEGO Group and Royal Dutch Shell here, and you can watch Greenpeace’s slightly depressing campaign video below.