Lego ends marketing deal with Shell after Greenpeace campaign

Lego has ended its more than 50-year marketing relationship with Shell after coming under sustained pressure from Greenpeace.

Video: Greenpeace’s YouTube campaign against Shell

The environmental charity targeted Lego in protest against Shell’s decision to drill in the Arctic. It created a YouTube video entitled “Everything is not awesome” showing a Lego Arctic landscape being drowned in oil that has so far received more than 5.8 million views globally.

Greenpeace activists also targeted the Legoland theme park in Windsor by dressing up as Lego figures.

Lego initially resisted Greenpeace’s campaign, with chief executive Jorgen Vig Knudstorp saying the charity ought to be talking directly with Shell rather than “using the Lego brand”. He also claimed the partnership had a “positive impact” on society by bringing Lego bricks to more children.

“The Lego brand and everyone who enjoys creative play, should never have become part of Greenpeace’s dispute with Shell. We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace,” said Vig Knudstorp.

However, the toy maker has now made the decision not to renew its current contract with Shell when it ends.

The decision ends a marketing contract between Lego and Shell that began in the 1960s with Lego toys being distributed at Shell petrol stations in more than 25 countries. The deal is valued at $110m (68m).

Greenpeace is claiming a victory, claiming that brands such as Lego should choose their partners “more carefully”.

Ian Duff, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace, says: “This is a major blow to Shell. It desperately needs partners like Lego to help give it respectability and repair the major brand damage it suffered after its last Arctic misadventure. Lego’s withdrawal from a 50 year relationship with Shell clearly shows that strategy will not work.”

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