While browsing through this morning’s Wall Street Journal (20 January 2009) I could not help noticing the below full page ad from Peabody Coal which claims to be the world’s largest private sector coal company. It was in a prominent location for the the political junkie class – a special Inauguration section that might end up being retained as a keepsake.
Peabody is not the only fossil fuel company that is talking up its contributions to the environment in a place that is aimed at reaching decision influencers holding office or serving on the staffs of those in office. Below is another full page ad from ExxonMobil, the world’s largest private sector oil company in the same special section, just a couple of pages in front of the Peabody ad.
Mind you, I am not complaining or suggesting that these companies have the wrong idea. It is incumbent on all businesses that believe in their product and who believe that their product needs some image improvement to work to make that a reality. Many people claim that they are not influenced by ads, but decades worth of testing has demonstrated that companies make a good investment by telling their story as frequently as possible in simple, memorable and positive ways.
I also liked where the Nuclear Energy Institute placed some helpful information for people interested in the intersection of politics and energy policies – they placed some very interesting posters along the Inaugural Parade route. I hope this means that the nuclear industry will take a more active role in telling its very compelling story; it is time to stop allowing the anti-nuclear people to set the agenda.