Mythology is for Greeks, not tuna brands

Press release - 16 October, 2012
Spoof lifts lid on John West greenwash

Monday, 22 October, 2012, Sydney: Greenpeace today launched a ‘horror spoof’ of the John West ‘reveal ad’, lifting the lid on the company’s destructive fishing methods.

“Australians love tuna, but people are horrified when the real cost of John West’s tuna is revealed,” said Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle. “10% of John West’s catch is made up of endangered sharks, baby tuna and turtles,” said Pelle. “These marine creatures are killed because the company continues to use outdated and destructive fishing methods.”

As BWM Lead Creative, Ant Shannon, admitted in the launch media release, “the success of John West has been largely built on the mythology of their selection process.”

“BWM is absolutely right,” said Pelle, “John West’s selection policy has to be based on mythology, because when Australians know the truth about what died for a can of their tuna, they’ll put another brand in their shopping trolley. Our spoof shows the reality of their destructive fishing and will help people to make more sustainable choices.”

The spoof ad includes footage showing the needless and sometimes gruesome capture and killing of sea creatures caught by fish aggregating devices (FAD) and hauled aboard industrial tuna fishing vessels.  Fishing with FADs and giant nets is indiscriminate - at least 10% of each haul is 'bycatch,' such as baby tuna, sharks and turtles.

“Australian brand Safcol has already switched to sustainable methods. Other major brands, Greenseas and Sirena, are following suit, but John West has refused to change,” said Pelle. “In the UK, all tuna brands, including John West, committed long ago, at very little extra cost to the consumer.” [1] [2]  

The spoof is part of a broader global Greenpeace campaign globally to end destructive fishing.

#RejectJohnWest spoof video:

#RejectJohnWest website:

For interviews, images or more information, contact:

Greenpeace Media Manager James Lorenz, 0400 376 021

[1] The level of bycatch caught when fishing on FADs is up to 10 times higher than fishing on free schools of tuna.

[2] John West is the leading tuna brand in Australia. According to Aztec Australia data of retail sales in the year to 26th August 2012, John West  sold approximately 8,000 -9,000 thousand tonnes of tuna.