The Canadian Energy Centre, also referred to as Alberta’s energy “war room,” is seeking proposals for a new ad campaign aimed at building support for Canada’s oil industry in eastern Canada and the northern U.S., The Canadian Press reports, citing a document it has seen.
Alberta’s Conservative government launched in 2019, just before the pandemic, the so-called energy war room, in hopes of improving the oil industry’s public image.
“For too long, the reputation of Alberta’s energy sector has been damaged by a deceitful campaign to landlock the oil sands. The Canadian Energy Centre will focus on improving perceptions about the oil and gas industry,” Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage said at the time. The center would apply a “fact-based approach to counteracting the misinformation about our industry,” Savage added.
The “war room” wasn’t much active in garnering support for oil during the pandemic because of reduced funding. But now, it is looking for the right candidate to create an ad campaign, whose goal would be “building a social movement” in support of Canada’s oil and gas sector, according to the document.
The winning bid will have to show “demonstrated ability to change perceptions about messages and values,” the document cited by The Canadian Press says.
The winner will “develop and create a minimum of four consumer-direct strategic marketing campaigns that are emotional and compelling in order to measurably change perceptions about Canada’s energy sector,” it notes.
The contract is expected to be awarded at the end of October this year and will run for one year, with possible extensions.
Last summer, the Alberta government was investigating whether foreign groups are funding anti-oil protests in Canada. The government went after foreign organizations that allegedly finance anti-oil coverage. In the summer of 2019, it announced that it had allocated almost $1.9 million to a fund to investigate these foreign organizations, which it claims are leading a concerted effort to tarnish the image of the oil sands industry.