Greenpeace's Arctic Drilling Video Sinks Lego's Deal With Shell

A still from the Everything Is NOT Awesome Lego video by Greenpeace Image via Greenpeace

A 1-minute, 45-second video has ended a long-term relationship between Lego and Royal Dutch Shell. The Danish toymaker said today that it will not renew a co-promotion deal with Shell, after a Greenpeace video linking Lego with the oil company’s Arctic drilling program went viral.

The video, which shows an Arctic landscape built of Lego blocks being swallowed up in a pool of black oil, “may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders about the way we operate,” Lego Chief Executive Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement. Greenpeace has been pressing Lego to end a partnership signed in 2011, in which co-branded Lego toy cars are sold at Shell stations in some countries.

Greenpeace, in a statement on its website, called the decision “fantastic news.” In a statement issued by its London press service, Shell said it did not comment on contractual matters. “Our latest co-promotion with Lego has been a great success and will continue to be as we roll it out in more countries across the world,” the statement said.

The video has drawn some 6 million views on YouTube since Greenpeace posted it on July 8. Created by a London-based production agency, it shows Lego toy polar bears, wolves, and hockey players being covered in oil from a Shell well, as the Lego Movie song Everything Is Awesome plays in the background.

Knudstorp said Lego would honor the 2011 contract with Shell but would not renew it. He described the contract as “long-term,” without saying when it would expire. “We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace,” he said, but “we want to ensure that our attention is not diverted from our commitment to delivering creative and inspiring play experiences.”

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