For BP, Environmental Disaster Equals Business Disaster

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.

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…

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. BP will learn the hard way that brands begin and end with operations.
    The re-branding was beautifully executed, but Beyond Propaganda.