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February 09, 2010

Vermont Yankee Dumps Employee Ads From Website

Local-yankee1 Vermont Yankee has apparently nuked a website that featured employee testimonials about how safe the nuclear plant is and how the company just wanted to get the truth out.

The website ("iamvy" stands for "I Am Vermont Yankee") has disappeared from the Internet just weeks after it went up. The ads made workers at the Vernon nuclear plant the human faces of plant owners Entergy — a company whose name has become synonymous with deceit and radioactive leaks.

Type the web address into your browser today and you'll be redirected to the Vermont Yankee site

Entergy spokesman Rob Williams explains to Blurt via email that: "Site was taken down and will be revamped with more pertinent and current information."

Plant owners Entergy began removing and scrubbing certain IAMVY ads last month when it came out that one of the featured engineers had misled state regulators under oath about the existence of underground pipes that carry a radioactive substance. Now the website itself has vanished.

The ads were part of a paid media blitz that put Vermont Yankee ads on television stations WCAX and WPTZ several times daily over a three-month stretch, and in newspapers and on the web. The ads all disappeared during a run of bad press for the nuclear plant that saw radioactive tritium showing up in alarming levels in monitoring wells, and the sidelining of a top Vermont Yankee official, Jay Thayer.

Click here for a Seven Days story about the ill-timed ad campaign.

An ad featuring plant engineer Dave McElwee (pictured above) was removed after it surfaced he'd given the false testimony. Another ad featuring McElwee's daughter, Vermont Yankee financial analyst Beth Bristol, was edited to remove a reference that she was McElwee's daughter. Still another ad, showing an employee outside the red brick Vernon Elementary School, was scrapped.

Entergy spokesman Williams previously told Seven Days the ads were on a regular rotation and swapping them out was part of the plan.

No word on whether the websites themselves are part of the "rotation."

Entergy's PR campaign reminds me a lot of Rich Tarrant's senate campaign ads.

Both were/are transparent efforts by rich people to manipulate voters into voting against their best interests.

Both failed.

"Both were/are transparent efforts by rich people to manipulate voters into voting against their best interests."

Funny, I think exactly the same way about VPIRG.

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