Lego pulls deal with Shell after viral video

Posted on 10 Oct 2014 by The Manufacturer

Lego has cancelled a deal with oil company Shell after a video released by Greenpeace criticised the toymaker for its partnership.

The video, entitled “Everything is NOT awesome” (a play on the song from the blockbuster Lego Movie) has had over six million views on YouTube.

The video features an Arctic setting, showing polar bears and other animals having their habitats ruined by drilling, before a Lego ocean becomes flooded with oil, drowning everyone, whilst a cigar-smoking toy tycoon looks on. The tagline being “Shell is polluting our kids’ imagination.”

As part of a co-promotion with Shell, Lego frequently releases Shell-branded toy sets. Initially neither company responded to the video outright, but Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp claims the company will adhere to its marketing contract with Shell, which was signed in 2011, but will not renew it after it ends.

The Danish toymaker, the world’s largest, has been criticised several times in the past for promoting sexist, gender-specific toys, but has managed to stay largely free from controversies and corporate wrangling.

A spokesperson from Shell, said the partnership with Lego, “has been a great success and will continue to be as we roll it out in more countries across the world”.

Environmental campaign group, Greenpeace has long been against Arctic drilling, and released a statement saying, “The extreme Arctic conditions, including giant floating icebergs and stormy seas, make offshore drilling extremely risky,”

“Scientists say that in the Arctic, an oil spill would be impossible to clean up meaning devastation for the Arctic’s unique wildlife.”