"A joint investigation by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project and the Los Angeles Times earlier detailed how one company, Exxon, made a strategic decision in the late 1980s to publicly emphasize doubt and uncertainty regarding climate change science even as its internal research embraced the growing scientific consensus."
The skeptic in me wonders if the left hand knew what the right hand was doing. The people who run PR and design ads for Exxon are not the same as the people who do research for drilling mechanisms. In fact CMO and COO may not have all communicated about this.
But then again-- What steps did the engineers who came across this ad, and saw its folly, take to have it amended? Or if not amended, make sure that it, or a future related ad/PR campaign didn't continue or happen again? And more important, did ad messaging leadership solicit the opinion of Exxon's internal engineers and then ignore it? Or did they get their information from outside help? It's tough to coordinate info in big organizations and Exxon is one of the biggest.
Either way, it's painful to learn.