Energy supplier Ecotricity to lend support to anti-fracking groups

Green energy provider Ecotricity is seeking to dash the Government's hopes to develop a homegrown fracking industry by making an outright stand against the use of the technology.

Ecotricity CEO Dale Vince: told PRWeek "we are happy to engage the press and always have radical views"
Ecotricity CEO Dale Vince: told PRWeek "we are happy to engage the press and always have radical views"

The company, which has nearly 100,000 customers, said it is planning to lend support to up to 90 local anti-fracking groups, in the shape of PR advice and campaign kits.

In addition it is releasing an online film urging consumers to vote with their energy bills and not support energy companies that finance the fracking industry.

These include British Gas, whose parent company Centrica has taken a stake in Cuadrilla Resources, which is hoping to exploit shale gas in the UK.

Ecotricity is to premiere the film at a 6 March event with Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP who was arrested as part of protests against Cuadrilla’s exploratory drilling in Balcombe in Sussex last year.

The animated short, created by London ad agency Man + Hatchet film, shows a series of fracking chimneys flatulently expelling gas. It carries the tagline "Don’t squeeze the last gas out of Britain".
David Oliver, head of marketing at Ecotricity, said: "Like many people in Britain, we believe that fracking is wrong and we want households to be aware of which energy companies are investing in shale gas.
"This film takes an irreverent view of the fracking industry by following a long tradition of British fart gags. But it carries a serious, even urgent message – fracking will delay the switch to renewable energy and it’s a desperate bid to scrape the bottom of the fossil fuel barrel."

Ecotricity's founder and CEO Dale Vince stressed his interest in campaigning when interviewed by PRWeek last November, saying: "Publicity seems to come to us naturally because of our stance, our attitude. We have a policy of never saying ‘no comment’. We are happy to engage the press and we always have radical views. That’s because we have a very clear mission: to bring about a green Britain."

Ecotricity is not the first company to oppose fracking – the Co-operative Group notably came out against the practice in 2012. However, it appears to have a knack for communicating, as its two previous films have already been viewed more than three million times on You Tube.

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