A very angry ana­gram, nudge, nudge, wink, wink

It is by no means unknown for me to be crit­i­cal about Greenpeace’s adver­tis­ing – par­tic­u­lar­ly its ten­den­cy towards con­fronta­tion­al bel­liger­ence and its lack of any sense of humour.

Written by
Andrew Papworth
February 06, 2014

It is a great delight, therefore, to highlight their latest effort shown here. It lacks absolutely nothing in the confrontational department but the aggression is tempered by a lightness of touch and a bit of chutzpah that is usually lacking so that – instead of the readers being merely observers of uncontrolled fury – they are invited to be in on the joke and involved. And the tone of the copy is sympathetic to the flood victims rather than simply venting Greenpeace’s spleen in their normal manner.

The ‘Cnut’ joke is far from original but it is timely – given the floods in parts of the UK this winter. The only doubt about the ad is whether it is wise to challenge David Cameron openly to sack his environment secretary. No prime minister is going to allow himself (or herself) to be seen to sack a minister at the behest of Greenpeace.

If they really want to remove Owen Paterson from his post, they might have been better advised to have concentrated on the policy rather than the man and to have reminded Cameron of his ‘hug a husky’ days and his promise of the ‘greenest Tory government ever’. A bit of flattery and the encouragement of guilt feelings might have been a more subtle approach. But Greenpeace don’t seem to do subtle.

Anyway, they wouldn’t have been able to use the ‘Cnut’ joke and that would have been a shame.

© Andrew Papworth 2014.

About the author: Andrew Papworth

Andrew Papworth

After a long career in advertising agencies, Andrew Papworth has been freelancing as an advertising and communications planner for about two decades.

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