OPINION: 6 Reasons Every Agency Should Pitch on Shell

OPINION: 6 Reasons Every Agency Should Pitch on Shell

In this op-ed, Joshua Flowers, co-founder and chief creative officer at B Corp-certified creative and production agency Paper Moose, explains (with his tongue firmly in his cheek) why you should put your ethical foibles aside and pitch for the Shell Energy account.

Are you on the fence about pitching on the Shell Energy account? It’s time to get off that fence and stand up for something. Here are six reasons you should pitch on Shell:

Because you can change them

Shell isn’t perceived as the cleanest, greenest operation out there, but their intentions are good. They announced sweeping and ambitious carbon reduction targets after all. They’re primed for massive change. And who is better positioned to help them radically change their core business model than an agency like yours?

Creativity moves mountains, and they are your Everest. You could be their trusted business partner at the leadership table, providing competent, balanced advice to the whole leadership team.

The CEO laughs at your jokes and the CFO feels at ease around you. But deep down you know you’re playing 4D chess. You’re their best buddy today, and tomorrow their saviour after you help them see their business model is outdated, irresponsible and fundamentally unethical.

Because you should live in the now

Wellness and spiritual leaders all agree that the bulk of human suffering stems from not living in the present. Thinking about the future too much causes anxiety. Yes, climate change will be
bad, but it’s a long way off. Surely Shell with its roughly 1.6 per cent net impact of all global Co2 emissions is too small to make a meaningful difference.

And anyway, Shell put in place ambitious 50 per cent carbon emission reduction targets by 2050. That’s a lot of reduction. And sure that’s a long way off, and sure they’re not meeting those targets, and sure they’ve recently rolled those targets back significantly. But like, you’re just worrying about the future again. Shell have a plan to reduce their carbon footprint sometime in the future. Just not today. Or tomorrow

Because oil makes things we need

It might be an inconvenient truth, but we need Shell – and more than that, we need the products that they enable. Just think of the things you’d miss out on if Shell didn’t exist:

  • Aspirin (and other drugs) – that’s right, the starting material for the chemical synthesis of aspirin is benzene, derived from petroleum.
  • Asphalt for roads. The world needs roads, right? And tyres – also derived from oil.
  • Plastic. You might pretend to hate plastic, but you couldn’t live easily without it.
  • Fertiliser. You want delicious fruits and vegetables? Fertilisers used in agriculture are mostly produced using petrochemicals.
  • Oil-based paint. That glorious new shade of eggshell white for the outdoor patio is powered by oil. Thanks Shell!
  • Etcetera

So if you don’t like oil, too bad – you need it. At least until someone comes up with alternatives to the above products. Like Australian startup Uluu who are working to make biodegradable bio-plastics derived from renewable farmed seaweed. But then who would need Shell?

Because Shell shareholders matter

Not enough gets said about Shell’s shareholders. They’re the fine individuals and institutions that have risked their own capital to bankroll risky deep ocean oil exploration and extraction. These entrepreneurs risk everything to ensure that Shell succeeds. And therefore they should be rewarded with your agency’s efforts to increase their brand’s equity.

Also spare a thought for the millions of individuals that unknowingly and kindly bankroll Shell through their super. They’re the hapless heroes Shell continues to deserve. Imagine accidentally putting your super with a provider like Australian Ethical and accidentally not bankrolling Shell.

Marrickville locals, Ben and Leanne realise they haven’t been bankrolling Shell because they invest with Australian Ethical.

Because fossils are old and boring

What else are we going to use the earth’s plentiful and abundant crude oil for? It’s like, just sitting there. If we don’t use it someone else will, and they’ll get rich and stuff.

Because somebody needs to be the baddie

In a greenwashed world where every agency is a B Corp working towards decarbonising the economy (like indie agency Paper Moose), it’s bold and refreshing for an organisation to take a stand against wokenomics and stand proudly for something everyone secretly respects and cares about: keeping the lights on, keeping planes in the air and making lots of money in the process.

Don’t be a sheeple. Stand up for something for once in your damn life and support a company working hard to make your life slightly more convenient no matter the environmental cost. That matters!


It’s time to accelerate change and create maximum impact. Supporting Shell can make that happen. Whether the change you want to make is actually climate change, anti-wokeism or the continued production of goods and services that make our lives slightly more convenient at the expense of the environment, the power is in your hands. By backing Shell, you could have the most outsized carbon impact of your career, both on the planet and for yourself.

What are you waiting for?

Joshua Flowers, Paper Moose.

Joshua Flowers, Paper Moose.

Joshua Flowers is co-founder and CCO at Paper Moose. A self-professed 3D printing nerd, tech enthusiast and industrial designer, you can find Josh involved in aspects of the business as varied as finance, operations, design and tech.

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