Greenpeace released a report in November 2012 showing that 70 per cent of rivers in Mexico are polluted with chemicals. The charity drafted in comms agency Circus to help it raise awareness of the issue before the report was published, through a tongue-in-cheek ‘tourism’ campaign.
On World Tourism Day on 27 September Circus launched Toxic Tours, the world’s first "toxic travel agency".
It brought on board various Mexican celebrities to promote activities supposedly offered by the travel agency and organised educational tours for the media to visit polluted rivers. The campaign was initially aimed at national media but generated 216 pieces of national and international coverage.
More than 20 countries covered the campaign and media from the US and across Europe came to take the tour. Millions of people took part in debates about the issue and local and national authorities were eventually pressured into becoming involved.