Toxic Sludge

Like Yogurt, but Not as Tasty

OTTAWA — Yogurt and toxic waste from Canada’s oil sands are pretty much alike in some respects, at least in the view of a Canadian advertising standards organization.

Advertising Standards Canada, an industry group, turned down a complaint this week from the Sierra Club of Canada about a television advertisement broadcast this fall by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. It’s one of a series of ads addressing widespread negative publicity about the environmental impact of Canada’s oil sands projects.


John Bennett, the executive director of the Sierra Club in Canada, said he was disappointed by the finding of the ad industry group.

“They went with the most literal interpretation,” Mr. Bennett said. “I don’t think there was a word in that 30-second commercial that wasn’t carefully premeditated.”... Read more »

Oilsands ad comparing tailings to yogurt to be modified

CALGARY — Canada’s leading oil industry lobby group said Tuesday it has voluntarily pulled a controversial television ad that compared oilsands tailings to yogurt.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said it will modify the ad, which spokeswoman Janet Annesley said was meant to depict “game-changing” tailings pond reclamation technology.

[...]... Read more »

Oilsands group pulls ad comparing toxic sludge to yogurt

 CALGARY - Alberta’s oil patch is off yogurt.

The industry’s main lobby group, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, nixed a TV ad that drew an analogy between the consistency of oilsands effluent and the health food.

In the ad, designed to highlight a technology to speed up the reclamation of tailings ponds, a narrator says liquid tailings are “essentially like yogurt,” without specifically noting that the analogy refers to consistency.

The Sierra Club of Canada found the comparison misleading and complained to Advertising Standards Canada (ASC).... Read more »

Sierra Club, CAPP both claim victory in ad ruling

The Sierra Club and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers are both claiming victory after the advertising standards watchdog ruled that an oilsands ad was not misleading.

The Sierra Club, an environmental protection group, filed the complaint over a CAPP-sponsored ad that compared the consistency of sludge in tailing ponds to yogurt.

[...]... Read more »

Comparing oil sands waste to yogurt is allowed in Canada

An unusual proxy battle in the green movement’s wider effort to slow Canadian oil sands development is over — and the industry won, more or less.

“The Alberta oil patch has avoided potential embarrassment after Advertising Standards Canada ruled that an advertisement that compared toxic oil sands effluent to yogurt did not mislead viewers,” The Globe and Mail reported on its website Tuesday.

“The Sierra Club of Canada had complained that the ad was a ‘greenwashing’ attempt to untruthfully make the oil sands sound environmentally benign. The ad featured a Suncor Energy Inc. ... employee named Shelley Powell, who in a spot about tailings — a key issue confronting the oil sands — said they are ‘essentially like yogurt,’” the piece adds.

[...]... Read more »


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