Friday, September 24, 2010

"BP's Advertising: Lipstick on A Pig"

 "BP's Advertising: Lipstick on A Pig"
by Jim Hightower

"Here's today's number: 93.4. That's $93.4 million – the amount that BP has now admitted to spending in just four months on its national advertising blitz, which is intended to put some gloss on its badly-faded corporate image. Unless you've been under a big rock since BP's Gulf oil blowout in April, it's been practically impossible to avoid the giant's self-serving ads, which constantly blare from TVs and holler at us from the pages of all major city newspapers. This unprecedented PR campaign is running under a slogan proclaiming: "We will make this right." Each ad praises the British corporation's efforts in the Gulf region to clean up the mess, restore the ecology, and compensate the businesses and workers who've been suffering devastating losses.

Heretofore, BP adamantly refused to disclose how much PR money it's been throwing into this puff & buff job, but Rep. Kathy Caster of Florida, who serves on the House energy committee, demanded an accounting on behalf of the hard-hit folks in her district. "Every day you get up and see these full-page ads in every newspaper and the TV ads," she says, adding that "It's really ticking people off."

They're even more ticked off now that BP has admitted to spending more than $5 million a week on its window-dressing effort. Its total ad expenditure for the four months came to $5 million more than it granted to four Gulf Coast states to help revive their decimated tourist industry. Worse, BP proceeded to insult the intelligence of the area's people by claiming that this huge ad outlay was necessary "to keep [coastal] residents informed."

Come on – BP has done all it can to deceive the people. Telling such blatant fibs as that is as useless as putting lipstick on a pig – it can't hide the ugliness that is BP. "BP's ad dollars flow in months after spill," Austin American Statesman," September 2, 2010. "BP spent $94M on ads during spill," www.politico.com, September 1, 2010."

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