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SAN FRANCISCO -- Ford Motor Company ran over the competition and won the Grand Prize of the CorpWatch Earth Day 2000 Greenwash Sweepstakes Awards. The virtual Awards, announced by the CorpWatch website www.corpwatch.org, are given for public relations efforts to make polluters appear environmentally friendly.
"Congratulations, Ford," said Amit Srivastava, a Greenwash Sweepstakes Award judge. "Your exclusive sponsorship of Time Magazine's 'Heroes for the Planet' special issue makes the magazine look like a brochure for an auto company. Well done."
Greenwash judge Kenny Bruno added that "Ford deserves the Grand Prize not only for the massive greenwash onslaught launched around Earth Day but for having the chutzpah to attempt to cast a positive light on its environmental record, which is one of the worst of any auto maker."
Ford recently announced that it will spend as much money on its environmental image as it would on promoting a new model of automobile.
The runners up in the Greenwash Sweepstakes include James "Bonds" Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, for claiming that World Bank bonds are socially responsible investments.
Another runner up is Monsanto and the Council for Biotechnology Information, for their "Greenwash with a Guilt Trip." The pro-biotechnology Council, which represents Monsanto and six other biotech companies, cleverly tugs the heart strings of the American public by promising to feed the world while actually promoting products that destroy family farms and reduce access to food.
Other runners up included Shell, Chevron and Unocal, while Time Magazine received a bonus Award for selling its Earth Day issue and its kids magazine's environmental coverage exclusively to Ford.
The booby prize was awarded to ExxonMobil.
"We're very disappointed in ExxonMobil," said Joshua Karliner, a Greenwash Judge. "Their greenwash is lame. Next year we expect to see at least a good faith effort to cover up their environmentally destructive operations."
The greenwash judges conducted the sweepstakes by polling CorpWatch's audience, and then ranking the nominations according to how beautiful, clever, insidious, infuriating, misleading and expensive the advertisments were. "We had a blast," said Judge Amit Srivastava. "We're definitely going to do it again next year."
CorpWatch also announced a new contest, to name the phenomenon of human rights -- themed corporate advertising. Nominations should be sent to email@example.com.
- 102 Greenwash Awards