July 18, 2011

Bye bye, Talisman Terry


Talisman Terry

Sorry, kids. Your new favorite coloring book, Talisman Terry’s Energy Adventure, is no more. Thanks to Stephen Colbert, Talisman Terry will not be joining the ranks of corporate cartoon shills with staying power.

Last month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on the new coloring book being distributed to children by Talisman Energy, a Pennsylvania energy company making a big push for the natural gas drilling method known as “hydrofracking.” Fracking of course has become a pretty controversial method of drilling (it even the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary) and has been coming under fire recently for pollution associated with the practice.

Enter Talisman Terry, the lovable ”friendly Fracosaurus” invented by Talisman Energy to dispel any nasty rumors kids may have heard. As the Post-Gazette story notes, the coloring book brags that ”drilling is smart, safe and American” and is “delivered in kid-friendly fashion” meant to reassure kids that any environment concerns they may have heard are over blown. Indeed:

Everyone smiles in Terry’s world. Mom smiles, Dad smiles, the worker smiles, the dog smiles, the cat smiles, the deer smiles, the fish smiles, the sun smiles, the moon smiles, the flower smiles, the rock smiles. Even the helium balloon — used to demonstrate how “natural gas is lighter than air” — smiles.

But as this Washington Post story points out, the last month of bad press and condemnation from the likes of Congressmen and comedians alike have proved fatal to the fracking mascot. Talisman Energy has killed Talisman Terry and the coloring book he is now infamous for. The pressure, it seems, was too great. And the unintended coverage has polluted his intended message.

Now, if only Colbert could do a bit on Ronald McDonald with the same effect…

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