A new form of political advertising is taking place here in Texas and it is not your normal political campaigning. This past January TXU launched a state-wide campaign promoting its eleven coal plants it is trying to get approval for. In these advertisements and commercials, TXU claims these new coal plants will help clean up the air by 80 percent than the average U.S. coal plant, but they fail to back up those claims with their resources.
TXU also claims that they will be using state of the art facilities – these state of the art facilities being pulverized coal and not the actual new start of the art technology Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC). TXU says they are not yet using this new techonology because the technology has yet to be proven.
Their failure to provide clear, well documented information to the public has lead to the Clean Sky Coalition to running their own set of ads against TXU’s bring facts up that had been previously unlisted. The name of this campaign is “Face it. Coal is Filthy.” This campaign features a series of posters that show close-ups of smudged faces looking directing into the camera, catching the attention of the audience and other viewers.
Along side their face posters, Clean Sky ads are insistent in providing all the information, not just the facts. One example of this is when they claim on one of their posters (and website) that coal plants are responsible for 60% of sulfur dioxide, 33% of Mercury emissions, 25% of nitrogen oxide emissions and more than 33% of carbon dioxide air emissions, they tell you where to go on their ads/website to find the information to back up their claims. The lack of TXU to do this calls into question the motives TXU has for these new eleven plants they have plans on building.
TXU has since produced more commercials and ads in response to Clean Sky Coallition’s advertisements and continue to stand behind their claims. This new form of “political” and “business ethics” debate between two large companies is leading to a new form of advertising with in companies that could lead to many more of these business degrading, yet informative commercials.