The combined press release and press conference stunt designed to embarrass the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its opposition to climate change policy was nearly completed until the Chamber’s spokesman and communications director Eric Wohlschlegel got wind of it and hightailed the six blocks or so from his office to the National Press Club.
He intercepted an errant journalist looking for the presser, who mistakenly reported to the Chamber’s offices.
Wohlschlegel interrupted the event in progress as Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum was talking about false promises of clean coal. He proceeded to confront Bichlbaum, demand a business card, and then hand his business card to identifiable journalists as he stormed out.
Yes Men’s perfect timing, and perfect pitch in this case worked flawlessly, forcing the Chamber to defend an already controversial and damaging position. Gawker called it “something of a cerebral sommersault.” Just two weeks ago Apple, as well as a number of energy companies ended their relationship with the powerful lobby over its stance.
Coverage of the stunt now sits right along side, and often within (see Marketwatch.com’s update) stories about the Chamber’s membership exodus.
Video of the fake press conference became available this evening: