Advertising Standards Canada Rules CAPP Ad Not Misleading

November 30, 2010 - Calgary, Alberta

The Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) has ruled that a Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers' TV ad highlighting environmental performance is not misleading.

Earlier this year the activist group, Sierra Club, complained to the ASC about CAPP's use of ‘essentially like yoghurt' in a TV advertisement about tailings pond reclamation. CAPP used the reference to yoghurt to describe the consistency of oil sands tailings material.

Following an extensive review of the commercial, Advertising Standards Canada's Council did not find CAPP's claim comparing the consistency of yoghurt to tailings was misleading. The ASC agreed CAPP's reference to yogurt referred only to the apparent physical consistency of tailings material.

CAPP vice president of communications Janet Annesley said: "We are pleased with ASC's finding that the oil and gas industry's ad is not misleading. Tailings reclamation technology is a game changer. The tailings reclamation proof point will go back on air minus reference to yoghurt, just to remove any potential misunderstanding."

CAPP's environmental performance claims have not been challenged. CAPP's French translation of the ad says 'consistants comme du yoghurt' and received no complaints.

Nationally broadcast for two months, the CAPP advertisement highlights successful reclamation of an oil sands tailings pond. In the ad, against a backdrop of a newly reclaimed area, an oil sands engineer wearing safety glasses and a hardhat talks about tailings reclamation. She states:

Tailings results when we extract the bitumen from the oil sands.

It's essentially like yoghurt and if left on its own would take decades to settle.

The new technology that we've developed allows us to transform liquid materials in our tailings pond into a type of solid, dry material in just a couple of weeks.

This is a game changer. It's amazing to think that we can reclaim tailings ponds in a fraction of the amount of time that it had taken in the past.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a $110-billion-a-year national industry that provides essential energy products. CAPP's mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate.