For BP, Environmental Disaster Equals Business Disaster

Adpulp There was no way that BP was going to be able to survive the catastrophe of their recent oil spill without backlash because of their "beyond petroleum" and earth-friendly messaging. AdPulp examines the situation from a brand perspective for BP. BP is trying to stem the negative press by positioning the company on the same side as consumers, and maintaining that the oil spill, the enemy, is a separate entity.

Posted May 1, 2010
By David Burn, AdPulp

I haven't purchased gas or anything else from Exxon since the Valdez
spill. Sadly, it's time to add BP to the list of companies I boycott.
http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt.swf

According to Los
Angeles Times
, BP has spent heavily to position itself as an
environmentally friendly company, redesigning its logo into a
green-and-yellow sunburst and advertising its $4-billion
alternative-energy push to move "beyond petroleum."

I think it's safe to say the company, in reality, is nowhere near
"beyond petroleum."

To make matters worse, Tony Hayward, BP's CEO is "putting BP on our
side. Trying to engage us against this enemy — the spill," says Adam
Hanft, an expert on marketing and business strategy. "This is probably
one of the better ways to manage this much bad news. It's clever
framing," said Hanft.

That may be, but no amount of clever framing or PR spin is going to
combat the reality on the ground. The oil is now washing up on the
shores of the Mississippi Delta and that's the only reality people are
going to attach to the BP brand from now on, no matter how much
greenwashing the company continues to invest in.

[UPDATE] Maybe Dawn can help…

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