Agree with Chevron’s We Agree Campaign?

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When your brand’s industry has a major PR problem, you either hide your head in the sand, or get out there and make a statement. 

Chevron’s strategy is pretty clear. The company today rolls out its new “We Agree” campaign, which also has its own website and incorporates statements one might view as provocative for an oil company.

“Oil companies should put their profits to good use,” proclaims one print ad. “It’s time oil companies get behind the development of renewable energy,” states another. “Oil companies should support the communities they’re a part of,” reads a third. All are answered with the words WE AGREE in bold red type.

The TV spots (above and after the jump) echo that mea culpa. Or is it?[more]

Chevron VP Rhonda Zygocki tells the Wall Street Journal, “It was a conscious decision on our part to take on some of the more frequent questions that we’re being asked. The directness of this campaign we’re hoping will at least draw attention.”

The new campaign, which will roll out across the U.S. first and and then internationally, comes on the heels of a major (on the order of $93 million through September) PR/advertising effort by BP to rebuild its image after the Gulf oil spill disaster. It had us wondering if BP would be better off rekindling its Amoco brand instead.

From renewable energy to small business to the oil industry’s impact on growth and jobs, Chevron’s TV ads aim to “show the common ground we all share on key energy issues. In the campaign, we answer common misconceptions about our industry and the value of energy.”

BP’s competitors haven’t hesitated to gang up on the beleaguered oil giant. As for Chevron’s new effort to be holier than thou to BP, however, Chevron itself hasn’t had the cleanest of records, either.

Maria Ramos of the Rainforest Action Network tells the Journal, “Chevron’s rhetoric and the public image that they put forward is very different from how they’re actually operating.”

What do you think of this image campaign? Is it candid and savvy … or ultimately self-defeating?

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