Greenpeace vs Waitrose – The Social Media Show Down #DumpShell

In CSR & Sustainability, Social Media & Online PR, The Digital Marketing Blog by JoLeave a Comment

As a social media community manager I couldn’t help but be completely pulled into the amazing/horrendous situation that is unfolding around Waitrose and their partnership with Shell as part of a Guerrilla campaign launched by Greenpeace.

Greenpeace are known for their often controversial tactics and today was no exception as they launched a social media based attract on the usually well respected Waitrose who have recently announced they will soon be having Waitrose outlets in Shell garages.

Greenpeace responded by creating a Waitrose branded micro site featuring a satirical video piggybacking on Waitrose’s supposedly ethical Christmas Video which features Delia and Heston.They dubbed over their voices now stating

“But Waitrose don’t ask you about everything. Like our partnership with Shell, who are drilling for oil in the Arctic. We know our customers care about the environment, so we’ve kept it hush-hush that we’ve buddied up with these Arctic drillers. But let’s face it, the Arctic’s for life, not just Christmas.”

They then urged customers to act now to get them to drop the partnership by voicing their opinions using the hashtag #DumpShell.

They pushed this out across Twitter, urging customers to tweet at Waitrose using the hashtag #DumpShell

To add insult to injury they chose Waitrose’s live Q&A with Delia as the focal point for activity encouraging people to use this as an opportunity to direct their questions to Waitrose about the partnership.

# Social Media Fail

As it stands Waitrose are yet to make a response and have committed the worst crimes a community manager can make by both ignoring all the comments and even deleting some. They then removed the ability to comment on the page causing Greenpeace to post this on their wall.


Waitrose then released a statement to say that Delia will only be dealing with Christmas related questions which should be interesting as I haven’t seen many of them appear as yet.

Waitrose facebook post - #DumpShell

Greenpeace clearly know what they are doing and responded straight away with this.

GreenPeace Tweet

I do have to say I feel really sorry for who is managing their social as obviously in situations like this the response has to come from the top down and I imagine things are pretty panicked in Waitrose HQ right now. This is a perfect example of why it’s crucial to have a social media crisis comms plan and an escalation strategy for pre-empting and dealing with situations like this.

I’ll certainly be paying attention at 1pm – Watch this space as the saga continues. Part two to follow!


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