Home » TransCanada Ad: “You’re a Bad Canadian”

TransCanada Ad: “You’re a Bad Canadian”

Lately I have not had much time to post any articles. I have certainly a lot of items to discuss and share, but time is limited these days. So what spurred me to do this post today? The oil industry trying to make me feel like a bad Canadian. They did not say that explicitly but they certainly lean on it in their messaging. Complete with a flag, if I don’t support them I don’t support Canadian Values.

I was on the National Geographic site today to source some information for a project I am working on. While there this ad came up. Be clear here – it is a Google Adwords display ad and the National Geographic is part of the display network that you can access with the ad platform. In tbis case it appears that the oil pipeline folks targeted those in a soft environmental place (in terms of views on environment) as the NGM is a safe form of information with regards to the environment. What I mean is that they have insightful and balanced articles.

So the ad:

energy east folly

Where did it take me? Here: http://action.energyeastpipeline.com/our-resources-our-values-our-opportunity?utm_source=vend2&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=audience4


Note the url is built in many ways to help with the site:

  • The domain (actually the subdomain) is about action.
  • The folder is about resources and values.
  • the end tags show the audience and banner format

Why am I a little peeved? Because this just rings like making me feel bad and we should let them drive a pipeline right to Saint Johns with no oversight because – well dammit its a Canadian thing. And if you are not for it you are a bad person and do not have good Canadian Values.

Look it’s one thing for a political party to do this crap. When it comes to an oil company? What right do they have to dictate values – especially national values to citizens? None. Their website states that “Data shows that a majority of Canadians agree on standing up for a stronger economy and a more secure energy future.” Well of course we do. That doesn’t mean we all support the pipeline build. Actually up until now I was ambivalent about it, but this underhanded marketing has put me off of TransCanada and shows how they are using cloudy verbiage to hide real numbers.

Smart ad campaign. Bad form.

BTW the site from TransCan states, before it asks you to sign a petition to “Join the Network and stand for a stronger Canada.” Please note that the form  is not an opt in, but opt out. You have not option to deny emails from them by submitting the form. Also a bit against the etiquette grain, but legal. As long as any subsequent sign up allows you to opt out.



The form also is a bit dodgy to me because it states:

“Eastern Canada currently imports 86 percent of its oil from foreign sources, despite having abundant energy resources here at home. We are paying nations, many that do not share our values, for a resource we already have.

And we’re buying it from places where working conditions and environmental standards just can’t be guaranteed. Does that make sense to you?”

The government states that

“Some Eastern Canadian refineries obtain oil supplies from offshore Newfoundland. Canada’s East coast also imports oil from a variety of oil-producing countries. For example, in 2010, most of Eastern Canada’s oil imports came from the countries that are part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), specifically from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Angola, Iraq and Venezuela. Some of Eastern Canada’s oil was also imported from North Sea countries, including Norway and the United Kingdom. In addition, oil was imported from Russia, Mexico and the United States.”

So while some oil does come from suspect resources they are not all “places where working conditions and environmental standards just can’t be guaranteed”. Also the argument can be made for sea transport of oil is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than a pipe line. Will leave that for another argument. Today I just wanted to point out an ad that said I was not a good Canadian if I do not support the oil company. TransCanada should have it’s PR and ad agency fired for this type of language. Scare and patriot tactics be damned.