Skip to comments.Esso wins ban on Greenpeace's use of doctored logo
Posted on 07/09/2002 1:58:48 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, yesterday won the first round of a bad-tempered legal battle designed to bring a halt to Greenpeace's Sto
The result in Paris sent a shiver through the anti-corporate campaign sector which feared the judgment could encourage other companies to resort to legal action.
Exxon was awarded an injunction that Greenpeace cease use of an Esso logo with dollar signs scrawled through it pending a full hearing.
The environmental group has four working days to remove the offending logo from its website or face fines of 5,000 (£3,000) though this was considerably less than the 80,000 Exxon demanded.
Greenpeace is one of the main backers of the campaign to boycott Exxon-owned service stations to highlight the Texan oil group's sceptical stance on global warming.
Exxon sells petrol under the Esso banner and had accused Greenpeace of damaging its reputation by doctoring logo letters to resemble the SS of the Nazi secret police.
The company said it was very pleased with the result of the court case but insisted it was not trying to shut down legitimate debate. "We uphold the right of Greenpeace to have freedom of expression but we were not willing to put up with the misuse of the company logo," said a spokeswoman for Esso France.
StopEsso said its campaign would go on and described the judgment as a blow against freedom. "It shows how a massive oil company will resort to using its power and wealth to halt criticism. It should concentrate on changing its policy on climate change rather than shooting the messenger."
Despite the stand-off there were signs that the US oil company might be softening its line on global warming. Esso France insisted Exxon recognised that climate change posed "potentially serious risks to society and ecosystems".
It outlined measures it is taking to address the issue including collaborating with Toyota and General Motors on fuel cell technology, becoming a world leader in natural gas sales and researching new energy systems with lower carbon emissions. It recently brought out a report on its corporate social responsibility but Greenpeace has dismissed its efforts as window-dressing.
I've already checked the French Greenpeace website and they've obliterated the E$$O sign on the front page. The International site still has it and I'm thinking of how the French were in a tizzy about the Yahoo auction site letting Frenchmen place bids on Nazi memorabilia. Were they succesful in this? I'd reckon Exxon could force Greenpeace to either take it off the international site or make it so the international site isn't available in France.
At any rate, score one for the good guys. Maybe we'll see more of this and these green groups can spend all their donations fighting court battles instead of trying to destroy our system.
The greenpeace logo has dollar signs. One of Esso's complaints say it makes it look like dollar signs. To tell the truth, it doesn't matter to me if they look like shamrocks- I'm just glad Esso is hurting 'em where it really hurts- the pocketbook.
It's a good thing!® ;^)