Anyone who wants to find support for the view that we can change the world through popular protest need look no further than Lego’s decision to drop Shell. In October, the world’s biggest toy maker succumbed to the massive outcry and decided not to renew a deal with the oil company.
Shell has been under attack for its Arctic most notably in a brilliant campaign spearheaded by Greenpeace. This is but the latest in a succession of pressure campaigns that are making a difference. Greenpeace previously targeted Mattel, over Asian pulp and paper used as packaging for its Barbie dolls. They have had considerable success in their efforts to change the manufacturing processes of clothing companies.
A Greenpeace campaign employed a video that used Lego toys to illustrate an Arctic oil spill. This powerful little parody went viral receiving more than 5 million hits and as they say the rest is history. After receiving more than 1 million complaints, Lego realized that it could not continue to do business with Shell.
Lego assessed that the threat to its reputation is worth more than the £68m it has earned form selling its product in shell stations in more than 24 countries.