BP Spins Oil Spill by Buying Google Ad Words

Environmental leader logo2 Environmental Leader writes that in reaction to the impact the BP oil spill has had on public opinion, one of the tactics BP is using to combat further negative response, is to buy up "oil spill" and other adwords within Google and Yahoo's ad networks. The ads which come up use the tagline, "how BP is helping." The Google ads are in addition to BP's television advertisements.

Posted June 8, 2010
By Environmental Leader

BP has purchased “oil spill” ad words through Google and Yahoo, which delivers search results that link to BP’s Website with the tagline “how BP is helping,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Despite BP’s damage control efforts, which also include television advertising, a survey shows that an overwhelming percent of U.S. consumers believe BP is at fault, although blame is spread across the federal government, Transocean and Halliburton.

A BP spokesman told ABC News that it bought these search terms to make it easier for people to find more information on the spill and about its efforts in the Gulf, along with providing links to help them file claims, report oil on the beach and sign-up to volunteer.

President Obama criticized BP for buying $50 million in television advertising, while it was trying to limit the amounts it will pay fishermen and others in the region impacted by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Results from an Ace Metrix study on the effectiveness of BP’s apology ad shows that 75 percent of consumers think BP CEO is not the right leader, while 20 percent said they will no longer buy BP gas, and 31 percent will buy less gas from the company.

The survey also reveals that those who lived closest to the oil spill, in the South region, showed the most positive reaction to the ad, while Midwesterners reacted most negatively.

While 41 percent think BP is doing everything it can to control the spill and clean it up, 42 percent believe that BP is doing only what it needs to do for public relations purposes. Forty-seven percent also believe that BP’s efforts in public relations damage control is too little too late.

Who is at fault? Seventy-one percent of respondents believe that BP is most responsible for the oil spill, followed by the U.S. government (12 percent), Transocean (11 percent) and Halliburton (4 percent).

Another key finding shows that 40 percent feel that the government response to the spill was inadequate and slow.

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