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9 Nov 2010

Eveline Lubbers & Andy Rowell, Guardian (UK)

NGOs and BBC targeted by Shell PR machine in wake of Saro-Wiwa death

Secret internal company documents from…Shell show that in the immediate aftermath of the execution of...Ken Saro-Wiwa it adopted a PR strategy of cosying up to key BBC editors and singling out NGOs that it hoped to "sway"…Shell planned to work with some of its critics but isolate others...Dividing NGOs into friends and foes, Shell emphasised the need to "work with [and] sway 'middle of the road' activists"...[C]ompany documents identified which media outlets would be targeted... Shell planned to produce a video…[including the topic of] "oil spills generally, focusing on sabotage."…but in another document,…Shell Nigeria…acknowledged internally that "the majority of incidents arise from operational failures"...Shell discussed whether it should stay in the country…One scenario was called "milking the cow"…A spokesperson said that the company's environmental record had improved…[Shell] declined to comment on its PR strategy in 1995...[also refers to Body Shop, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Independent, Times (part of News Corporation)]