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Or was it? Sure, in a few months this will be water under the bridge. Grimey, oil ridden, polluted water. Greenpeace covertly attacked Shell Oil Company in a faux campaign under the guise of the real Shell campaign “Let’s Go”.

The #articready campaign used a “heartstrings” effort to engage social media communities, by allowing users to create their own “Let’s Go” advertisement. They’ve supplied the images, you create the message. Let’s give the children matches! – Said No Mother EVER… but in the eyes of Greenpeace it was an perfect storm! As you can imagine the meme generator kicked off with images of sarcastic “drill the world” ads.

Greenpeace also created a Twitter account, @ShellIsPrepared, to engage users who were using the hashtag. At first it started with a seemingly honest effort (For Shell) to clean up the mess by hopelessly asking users to stop retweeting. This only made it worse. Everything was topped off with an empty legal threat, which excited the most backlash towards Shell.

Shell didn’t really mess up their social media presence, Greenpeace hijacked them. In the lst 24 hours, 1,500 tweets were generated 2,147,006 impressions, reaching an audience of 1,369,121 followers (via Hashtracking.com). Great for Greenpeace, awful for Shell and a fair warning to ANYONE who is subject to public scrutiny. How easy would it be for someone to hijack your brand, your personal brand or just your likeness? This poses an interesting question on the legality, let alone ethics, of social media slander.

And what about all those people who made the meme’s thinking they were cleverly making fun of Shell. They were had by Greenpeace too. How would you feel being made out as a fool?

Below are just a flavor of the ads being generated by users through Shell’s “Ad Generator” More can be seen at this gallery, and on Twitter just search #articready.