BP Arrogance

A little can say a lot.

I did a Google search for “british petroleum” to get some updates and perspective on the company’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I discovered that BP is running a search advertising campaign — to introduce its own sponsored messages about the disaster whenever anyone searches on keywords about the company. This normally would be a smart crisis-response tactic, except for the the message: “Info about the Gulf of Mexico Spill Learn More about How BP is Helping.”

British Petroleum Search Advertisement

Learn how BP is helping? That’s the wrong message. It makes me want to disregard everything else the company says — in this case, the company’s crisis response Web site, which the advertisement links to.

The right message would have been “Info about the Gulf of Mexico Spill. Learn about BP response and accountability.”

Like most people, I’m furious about British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, I’m anxious and hopeful the company will achieve success sooner versus later in capping the ongoing environmental disaster.

Side note:

Check out  BP Public Relations on Twitter. It’s a fake profile offering humorous yet revealing commentary on BP and its response to the disaster. According to the author, a supposed Leroy Stick:

I started @BPGlobalPR, because the oil spill had been going on for almost a month and all BP had to offer were bullshit PR statements. No solutions, no urgency, no sincerity, no nothing. That’s why I decided to relate to the public for them. I started off just making jokes at their expense with a few friends, but now it has turned into something of a movement. As I write this, we have 100,000 followers and counting. People are sharing billboards, music, graphic art, videos and most importantly information.

Also be sure to check out Greenpeace UK’s Flickr site. The group is featuring entries to its BP logo redesign contest.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

Join the Conversation


  1. YOU are exactly correct; this is a no win political and ecological nightmare. Then they announce a dividend for stock holders in the midst of all this news. Please help everyone involved to restore their lives and business, tourism and travel and quality of life.

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto and frustrated by what BP has done to us all.

  2. A very good catch, Max. A single self-serving word can undermine everything.

  3. And it was probably the act of a mid-level or junior search manager,
    either in house or agency. Regardless, it sends a clear message on
    behalf of the corporation itself.

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