Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Vintage oil company ad brags about melting glaciers

Ever wondered what the worst oil company ads in history look like?, a well-read climate change blog, has put together three worthy candidates.

In 1947 classic from Shell titled “Better 'salad' for John McAdam”, two anonymous hands ready a slurry of asphalt and petroleum in a wood salad bowl.

“Recipe: to crushed rock, add just the right amount of asphalt. Blend and mix like a salad...”

Sound appetizing? Better asphalts, the company brags, are “only one research achievement by which Shell demonstrates leadership in the petroleum sector, and petroleum products.”

But for pure irony, nothing beats a 1962 magazine spread from Humble Oil and Refining Company.

Underneath a sloping sheet of glacial ice, the firm boasts: “Each day Humble supplies enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glacier!”

Rounding out the competition, an undated full-pager from Mobiloil assures readers that its product even “flows freely in subzero cold.”

Not convinced? Check out the giant Mobiloil can dumping fuel into a wintry landscape -- the fuel cuts through snow like a spring stream.

Click here to see the ads.

Geoff Dembicki reports for the Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus