Ancient Forest Destruction Doesn’t “Feel Good”

by Rolf Skar

March 17, 2009

Greenpeace and  Kimberly-Clark have announced the successful resolution of the Kleercut campaign as the maker of Kleenex has established a new sustainability policy focused on protecting Endangered Forests. Go to www.greenpeace.org/kleercut to find out more!

Kimberly-Clark has invested mountains of money in a new advertising campaign to promote Kleenex tissues.  And, all that money got them a new slogan.  First they wanted you to “Let it Out” – which people from coast to coast did.  Now they are telling us, curiously, that “It Feels Good to Feel.”  As opposed to not feeling, I guess.  Ok, I’ll agree with that self-evident statement.

The place I differ with the tissue giant is on ancient forest destruction.  The Kleenex they’re pushing with the new ad blitz has no recycled content in it.  And, as a company, Kimberly-Clark continues to eat up ancient forests for their products.  Sorry Kleenex, ancient forest destruction doesn’t “feel good.”

Kleenex marketeers are on yet another tour.  This time, they’re not sitting on a blue couch, riding a bizarre dog-bus, or setting up a pretend “diva café.”  This time, they’re going a bit abstract with a white, curvy walk-in display featuring “hanging displays of rug cutouts and other items that encourage people to feel.”  If you crossed a kid-oriented “please touch” exhibit with an IKEA living room set, you might get this thing.  They call it the “Feelspace.”

Ok, whatever.  When the Feelspace thingy showed up at a mall near Denver, Colorado, Kleercut campaign activists were there to meet them.  Activists started by intercepting shoppers and sharing the new Greenpeace green tissue guide with them.  When informed that Kimberly-Clarks’s leading brands don’t have any recycled content, shoppers pledged not to buy Kleenex.

Kleenex rep, meet Kleercut activists!

Then, to make their point really clear, they unfurled a banner in front of the Feelspace thing.  Mocking the feely-hand logo used by Kleenex, they held out their hands with “S-T-O-P” written on their palms.  Shortly afterwards, one keen-eared activist overheard mall-goers in the bathroom saying: “OMG – you just missed the coolest thing!  These people came out with a banner that said something about Kleenex destroying ancient forests…it was so cool and crazy!”

By the time mall security (was that Paul Blart?) escorted them from premises, the activists had spoiled Kleenex’s day and changed a lot of minds.  In fact, activists even elicited sympathetic comments from surprised Kleenex marketers — many did not know Kleenex is made without recycled content.  One Kleenex rep openly said that Kleenex should “stop clearcutting and start using recycled fiber.”  I’m glad we’re starting to get on the same (post-consumer, recycled content) page with Kimberly-Clark!

Let’s hope the same sort of agreement can trickle-up to Kimberly-Clark executives.  Until then, activists will continue to have fun punking Kleenex advertising efforts and standing tall for ancient forests.

-Rolf

Rolf Skar

By Rolf Skar

Rolf Skar is the Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA. Since 2007, Rolf has contributed to international Greenpeace campaigns to stop deforestation in the Canadian boreal forest, the Paradise forests of Southeast Asia, and the Brazilian Amazon.

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