Why some of your favorite podcasts are filled with oil company ads

Asia's Tech News Daily

If you’re a regular listener of the New York Times podcast The Daily, you would have heard an ad for ExxonMobil’s carbon capture investments more than once in November.

The ad – which coincided with the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow – told listeners that carbon capture technology could remove more than 90% of CO2 emissions from “carbon-intensive industries” and that the company was working to “deploy this technology at scale”. It gave the sense of an oil company tackling the climate crisis with technology that could solve it – and quickly.

Similar ads have run on NPR podcasts, including Invisibilia and Up First. The American Petroleum Institute has also run ads in podcasts, including on Vox’s Ezra Klein Show (Klein has since left for the New York Times), highlighting that it is “producing more oil and gas while reducing emissions”.

The fossil fuels industry’s sudden interest in podcasts coincides with its recent embrace of social media and newsletter advertising and may well be driven in part by a key difference in the regulation of these “newer” media, regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), versus legacy print, TV and radio media, which are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

While the FCC actively regulates advertising, the FTC works differently. It generally won’t investigate anything until a complaint is made and even then an investigation is not guaranteed. The FTC has had “green guides” for environmental marketing claims in place for environmental claims for more than 30 years, but the first complaint ever filed against an oil company for greenwashing came in 2021 against Chevron. The action is still pending.

Related: Exxon CEO accused of lying about climate science to congressional panel

The challenge with the FTC’s guidelines, including the green guides, is that they tend to be product based and specific: your product is either made with recycled materials or not, you either take back and recycle packaging or you don’t. All of which leaves podcast and newsletter publishers and social media platforms to develop their own guidelines and factchecking processes.

This is made harder by the industry’s advertising strategy – oil companies almost never advertise their products, opting instead to advertise ideas, particularly the idea that they’re working hard to address the climate crisis.

ExxonMobil’s ad in The Daily, for example, emphasizes its work to scale up carbon capture as a climate solution. Yet the company currently captures less than 1% of its emissions, according to a report by the activist hedge fund Engine No 1, and uses some of the captured CO2 to extract more fossil fuels through a process called enhanced oil recovery.

The ad’s statement that carbon capture can remove 90% of emissions also has some important caveats. The figure is a baseline target for carbon capture projects and refers to the emissions captured at a single industrial site rather than all industrial emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, the world’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can currently capture approximately 0.1% of annual global emissions.

“ExxonMobil has long acknowledged that climate change is real and poses serious risks,” said an ExxonMobil spokesperson, Todd Spitler. He said figures from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions show that “CCS can capture more than 90% of emissions from power plants and industrial facilities”.

He added that ExxonMobil had captured more than 120m tons of CO2 in total, which he said accounted for 40% of all globally captured carbon since 1970. According to the company’s April 2021 report, Exxon’s total CO2 emissions for 2020 alone from direct operations and its supply chain were more than 650m tons.

“All advertising must meet our advertising acceptability guidelines,” said a New York Times spokesperson, Nicole Taylor. “This prohibits advertising that is intentionally misleading, deceptive, or contains false information. Ads submitted to the New York Times are reviewed by an advertising standards team and are subject to factchecking.”

Yet, Exxon’s misleading claims about carbon capture passed this filter. Taylor didn’t say whether the Exxon ad went through the company’s factchecking process, just that ads “are subject” to factchecking. So either the ad passed, or it wasn’t checked closely in the first place.

Related: Big oil’s ‘wokewashing’ is the new climate science denialism

NPR also says it has processes in place to vet digital ads. “The digital guidelines were developed to protect the non-commercial spirit of NPR with some additional flexibility on language beyond the strict limits imposed by the FCC for broadcast sponsor recognition,” said an NPR spokesperson, Isabel Lara.

It’s unsurprising that Exxon’s ad passed media companies’ filters, said John Cook, research fellow at the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University, Australia, and an adviser to Facebook on climate disinformation. That’s because it deploys a tactic often used by oil companies called “paltering”, he said, the use of truthful statements to convey a misleading impression.

“It requires background knowledge to spot it, so it’s tough,” Cook said. “They can run an ad that’s 100% accurate statements. Exxon is investing in algae – that’s 100% true – then they can do a lot to convey the impression that they’re environmentally friendly without conveying that they’re spending more on advertising than on algae tech. So it’s very hard for factcheckers or social media guidelines to catch that because the companies can say ‘What? Everything is true.’”

Unless the New York Times’ advertising team has a knowledgable climate expert reviewing Exxon’s ads, it’s unlikely that a misleading ad would be rejected. “​​The problem with self-regulation is that if it’s against a publisher’s or platform’s financial interests to impose restrictions then they’re less likely to do so,” Cook said.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a ban on fossil fuel ads is the only way to get on top of greenwashing, Cook said. “I probably would lean towards the solution being more based on the content rather than the source,” he said. “But also if the source has a track record of misinforming that should come with penalties.”

The problem is catching the problem to begin with, because greenwashing doesn’t fit the usual mold. “Their greenwashing won’t be flagged as misinformation in the first place,” Cook said. “So what’s in place now for identifying misinformation in ads is not really a framework for identifying greenwashing.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Djokovic leaves Australia but debate goes on in vaccine saga

Australia made its decision, but opinion remains divided worldwide on Novak Djokovic and whether he should have been allowed to compete in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against ... Read more »

Brendan Cole tops the Dancing On Ice leaderboard

© Bang Showbiz Brendan Cole impressed on the ice Brendan Cole topped the leaderboard during the ‘Dancing On Ice’ launch night. The 45-year-old ballroom dancer and his partner Vanessa Bauer ... Read more »

Downing Street parties: Is a culture change in No 10 possible while Boris Johnson stays PM?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be the "driver of behaviour among his team" amid calls for a culture culture at Downing Street. Read more »

Dancing on Ice star Sean Rice dies aged 49

© Bang Showbiz Sean Rice has passed away ‘Dancing on Ice’ star Sean Rice has died at the age of 49. The figure skater – who starred on the ITV ... Read more »

Best Dubrovnik hotels for style, location and value for money

The world’s love affair with Dubrovnik shows no sign of slowing down. Croatia’s biggest tourist attraction has medieval and Renaissance walls, shiny marble streets of white stone houses and sprawling ... Read more »

Your Money: Five steps to spending wisely, investing smartly

© Provided by The Financial Express It additionally guarantees that you have a clear limit on your spending and assists you with keeping up with financial discipline. By Shams Tabrej ... Read more »

Russell Westbrook responds to Magic Johnson's criticism of Lakers

The current Los Angeles Lakers point guard is taking some time to respond to the greatest Los Angeles Lakers point guard. © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Los Angeles Lakers guard ... Read more »

LEAP of faith: IFFCO moves lock, stock and barrel to Oracle Cloud

© Provided by The Financial Express “We have about 95 applications (across our five manufacturing plants) running on OCI. From day one, we are running our nano factory production applications ... Read more »

Stephen Curry likely back Tuesday vs. Pistons

Anthony Slater: Steph Curry left the Warriors’ road trip early. He’s back in the Bay Area with Rick Celebrini. Belief is his hand injury is very minor. Steve Kerr said ... Read more »

NBA World Reacts To Cade Cunningham's Ejection Sunday

A frustrating afternoon for the Detroit Pistons got worse when star rookie Cade Cunningham was ejected in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns. © Provided by ... Read more »

I'm a Disney expert and these are the best days of the week to visit the theme parks – and the days to avoid

DISNEY theme parks are extremely popular and can get very busy. But a Disney World expert has revealed which theme parks are the busiest on certain days of the week, ... Read more »

Boris Johnson enlists Royal Navy to stop Channel migrants as he launches ‘Operation Red Meat' in bid to stay in No10

EMBATTLED Boris Johnson is to enlist the Royal Navy to help combat migrant Channel crossings as he launches a policy blitz in a bid to cling on to his job. ... Read more »

Watch: Cade Cunningham ejected for ridiculous reason

Detroit Pistons point guard Cade Cunningham had a big game on Sunday, but his day ended prematurely for a pretty absurd reason. © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports Detroit Pistons guard ... Read more »

By all the laws of political gravity, Boris Johnson is doomed

BY all the laws of political gravity, Boris is doomed – clinging by his fingertips until Dominic Cummings chooses to finish him off with hobnailed boots. Even a barrage of ... Read more »

Buyback offer: Should you accept the TCS buyback offer?

© Provided by The Financial Express The price is 16.7% higher compared to its last traded price (Rs 3,857) of the stock on the Bombay Stock Exchange when this buyback ... Read more »

BBC warns Nadine Dorries will plunge it into a ‘spiral of decline' by declaring end to licence fee

Nadine Dorries has declared an end to the BBC licence fee, prompting the corporation to accuse her of plunging the broadcaster into a “spiral of decline”. © Steve Parsons Nadine ... Read more »

US fans of All Creatures Great and Small give Yorkshire tourism a boost

American tourists are flocking to Yorkshire – after falling in love with warmhearted TV saga All Creatures Great and Small. More than 10 million viewers watched the first series Stateside, ... Read more »

Cam Reddish: 'I feel like I can be a star'

“I feel like I can be a star,” Reddish said in his first comments as a Knick after his new team routed the Hawks at State Farm Arena. “I feel like I ... Read more »

Australia confirms Novak Djokovic is banned from the country for THREE YEARS as Prime Minister takes a brutal swipe at the tennis superstar after his dramatic late-night deportation and his dad labels saga an 'ASSASSINATION'

Novak Djokovic flew overnight to Dubai after being deported from Australia The tennis champion spent 11 days unsuccessfully battling to maintain his visa The controversial court decision has sparked fury among the world no. 1's fansCivil rights advocates fear the legal case sets a worrying precedent for visitors They argue anyone with 'undesirable' political views could now be deported But the decision has been praised by many Australians and by PM Scott MorrisonThe Prime Minister said he 'welcomed the decision to keep our borders strong'   Read more »

Africa Cup of Nations holders Algeria on brink of group-stage exit after shock defeat to Equatorial Guinea

© AFP via Getty Images PRI218837873.jpg Reigning Africa Cup of Nations holders Algeria are staring at an unexpected early exit after losing 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea. It leaves Riyad Mahrez ... Read more »

Roberto Martinez is Everton's No.1 choice to replace Rafa Benitez as manager

Roberto Martinez is the No.1 choice among the Everton board to replace Rafa Benitez after his tumultuous six-month tenure at Goodison Park was brought to an end. Benitez, who fell ... Read more »

‘Could be the one' – Liverpool join heated Prem battle for €50m Mane replacement preferred to trio

Liverpool have identified RB Leipzig attacking midfielder Christopher Nkunku as the next man to evolve their forward line, according to a report. Finding new options in the final third has ... Read more »

Kate Longhurst's late goal for West Ham damages Tottenham's WSL title bid

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images The lifelong West Ham fan Kate Longhurst’s looping header deep into injury time rescued a point against Tottenham, denying their London ... Read more »

Biker, cyclist killed in hit-and-run accidents in Mohali

© Provided by Hindustan Times The 26-year-old biker died on the spot after being run over by a truck in Balongi, Mohali. (Getty Images/iStockphoto) Hit-and-run accidents claimed two lives in ... Read more »

New No10 party revealed as Boris Johnson set to blame aides to save his job

As the heat grows on Boris Johnson over a string of No10 lockdown parties the cowardly PM looks set to shift the blame away from himself in a desperate bid ... Read more »

Australia news live update: Novak Djokovic leaves country; Morrison asked about double standard over anti-vax concerns; Tonga tsunami surveillance flight delayed

LIVE – Updated at 21:26 Follow all the day’s news.   21:26 Pacific Islands Forum statement on #Tonga: pic.twitter.com/RlallTHWgQ — Natalie Whiting (@Nat_Whiting) January 16, 2022   21:25 The deputy ... Read more »

PU: Shopkeepers continue protest over non-fulfilment of demands

© Provided by Hindustan Times This comes a day after the shopkeepers skipped an online meeting with PU authorities and instead insisted that a physical meeting be held. (HT File) The ... Read more »

Outpouring of grief as victims of Bronx fire laid to rest

A Bronx community has gathered to pay its last respects to loved ones a week after a fire filled a high-rise apartment building with thick, suffocating smoke that killed 17 ... Read more »

Manchester United risking losing out on Amadou Haidara and more transfer rumours

Manchester United could miss out on one of their biggest targets in Amadou Haidara, with the latest reports suggesting Newcastle could pounce on their lack of activity. RB Leipzig star ... Read more »

Soccer-Real Madrid beat Athletic 2-0 to claim Super Cup title

By Fernando Kallas © Reuters/ALBERT GEA Spanish Super Cup Final – Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao RIYADH (Reuters) -Real Madrid were crowned Spanish Super Cup champions after goals from Luka ... Read more »

Soccer-Late Longhurst goal earns Hammers 1-1 draw with Spurs

© Reuters/PAUL CHILDS Women’s Super League – Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United LONDON (Reuters) – Kate Longhurst scored deep into stoppage time to snatch a point for West Ham ... Read more »

UK foreign minister condemns Texas hostage-taking

© Andy JACOBSOHN A police vehicle sits outside of the Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, where four people taken hostage were recovered safely after a 10-hour standoff Britain’s foreign ... Read more »

Dancing on Ice star Rachel Stevens says S Club 7 left her needing therapy

DANCING On Ice star Rachel Stevens has revealed she still has therapy to cope with her time in S Club 7. The 43-year-old singer said she “got very good at ... Read more »

Coronation Street's Arianna Ajtar smoulders in an eye-popping black catsuit as she joins leggy Love Island star Mary Bedford for a girls' night out

Latest news and updates on all of your favourite Love Island contestants Read more »

Newcastle 'are preparing an ambitious move for PSG keeper Keylor Navas after making contact with the French club' as Eddie Howe looks to continue his January spending spree

Keylor Navas has made 97 appearances for PSG since signing for them in 2019He continues to get regular games despite the signing of Gianluigi DonnarummaNewcastle are hopeful they may be able to secure a deal for his services  Read more »

DOMINIC KING: Rafa Benitez carries the can but Farhad Moshiri has made a MESS of Everton… How can you burn through six managers, two directors of football and half a billion in transfer fees and wages and have NOTHING to show for it?

Rafa Benitez was sacked by Everton after a dismal 2-1 defeat to Norwich The Spaniard is being blamed for the Toffees' crisis, but it runs much deeperOwner Farhad Moshiri's unpredictability is causing chaos at Goodison Park The Toffees owners's next move will make a crucial impact on the club's future Read more »

Biden, Japan PM Kishida to hold bilateral talks on Friday-White House

© Reuters/Toru Hanai FILE PHOTO: National flags of Japan and the U.S. are seen in front of a monitor showing a graph of the Japanese yen’s exchange rate against the ... Read more »

Everton fans react to Roberto Martinez emerging as favourite for new manager job

Roberto Martinez has reportedly emerged as a shock contender to replace Rafa Benitez as Everton boss. The Belgium manager is currently favourite to make a remarkable return to the Blues, ... Read more »

Hibs braced for improved Martin Boyle offer ahead of Premiership return

Hibs are bracing themselves for an improved offer for talisman Martin Boyle as the Premiership prepares to return from an extended winter break. © Hibs are facing a fight to ... Read more »

Video of Lucknow vendor preparing ‘chowmein golgappa' goes viral

© Provided by The Indian Express Indians’ love for golgappa does not need any special mention. Over the years, vendors have experimented and come up many interesting fusion variants of ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic