The Yes Men Reveals How Chevron Campaign Leaked

Artist Contacted by Agency McGarryBowen Turned Over Files

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Last week, we brought you news that Chevron's breaking ad campaign and PR push had been hijacked by a group called The Yes Men, working in collaboration with Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch. Now The Yes Men is revealing how it got its hands on the ad campaign to begin with.

According to a release sent out by The Yes Men, Amazon Watch was tipped off over a month ago "when ecologist blogger Lauren Selman received a casting call to appear in one of Chevron's new split-screen television ads. Selman used the information she gathered to help Amazon Watch, the Rainforest Action Network, and the Yes Men pre-empt Chevron's insulting PR campaign." Selman has a detailed blog post about the casting call over at The Huffington Post.

The other leak? That one came via an artist employed by Chevron's agency, McGarryBowen, said The Yes Men. Reportedly, street artist C├ęsar Maxit was asked to work on the posters for the new ad campaign. "Instead, Maxit sent the Chevron files to the Rainforest Action Network and helped build their campaign."

Want to see a video of how that went down? Rainforest Action Network and Maxit are happy to oblige:

Interesting stuff. We wonder if any contracts were violated during this sting operation. No doubt, some will claim the ends justify the means -- someone certainly thought so when a fake Ad Age story was set up last week -- but something tells me lawyers might not see it that way.

Representative from McGarryBowen did not respond to requests for comment.

UPDATED (Oct. 28): According to a Chevron spokesman, "McGarryBowen remains a strong and valued partner to Chevron. This hoax in no way takes away from the groundbreaking campaign they helped create." Chevron refused to discuss "what, if any, legal actions we are going to take." He also said: "These predictable stunts, which are focused on the lawsuit in Ecuador, are an attempt to distract the public and the media from the recent events surrounding the lawsuit -- including fraud and misconduct on the part of the plaintiffs and their associates."

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