BP Uses the Internet to Spin its Oil Spill Disaster

Jun 06

BP Uses the Internet to Spin its Oil Spill Disaster

Type in “oil spill” or “oil leak” in Google and the first and second search items to come up in the list is a link to BP’s website, directly to a section entitled GULF OF MEXICO RESPONSE. Images of people hard at work trying to contain the spill and cleaning up the beaches and a flotilla of ships in surrounding waters appear. If you didn’t know any better, it looks like things are going fairly well. What they don’t want you to see is the oil-soaked birds, the tarballs of oil marring the shore, the images of the grieving families who lost loved ones, and the devastated fishermen who have lost their livelihoods.

BP has purchased Google, Yahoo and other top search engine words to help the conglomerate turn the tide its way in terms of how things are going in the Gulf. A recent commercial of BP’s Chief Exec Tony Hayward has also been produced and on You Tube…as he speaks and reinforces that his company is taking full responsibility for the spill, you see a massive effort taking place to contain and stop the spill. Toward the end of the clip, a sandy beach filled with sunbathers appears.

As a marketing person myself, I “get” that the PR people behind BP are using the viral effect the Internet has to influence public opinion, to show itself as a “transparent”, responsible corporation trying to do the right thing in the face of the worst environmental catastrophe in this country. But as an individual, there is something fundamentally amiss, manipulative and wrong about this whole thing. When will no-spin be good spin? Just say it the way it really is. Show it the way it really is. Not the way you want us to believe it is. And use the Internet and its reach to do so. If you don’t there are plenty of people putting the spotlight on you anyway.

7 comments

  1. Tom Plesser /

    I agree, BP is trying to spin this in a more positive light. It is unfortunate this accident to place, yet it does seem that BP has taken responsibility when it didn’t have to. There is a lot of liability to go around here on this incident. BP does have people on the ground trying to clean up wildlife and the beaches. They have been trying for weeks to cap the well. There is more to this capping than we know as I am sure there are tremendous pressure under that water making capping efforts slow if not impossible.

    What I would like to see is the government getting out of the way of BP so they can work unhampered by politics. All of us are human. It is inherent that accidents will happen. So far accidents have bee at a minimum. We must continue exploration as this country has vast wealth in oil resources. Besides, oil is the engine of our economy. With out it everything stops.

  2. Annie George /

    I RECEIVED THIS COMMENT FROM RUSSELL NOLTE TO MY BLOG ON FACEBOOK, SO I’M INCLUDING IT HERE:

    Hello, I hope you are doing well? A few comments about our present problem in the gulf. I Live on the gulf in Texas and Louisiana. What most people are missing is tha BP has a flotilla of ships on station 24/7 at around a million dollars an hour trying to fix this accident. They have 20,000 + engineers from not only BP but all of it’s competors (… See Moreshell, exxon mobil, and all the others) working on this 24/7. That does not take into account all of the clean up crew personel. They are filling these positions quickly. They want this stopped as much as any body else. They are not happy to see the wild life that is being lost nor the strain it has caused the people who live one the gulf coast which I am one. I own a home in Texas and Louisiana and the one in Louisiana is on the water. I am not saying that BP is not to blame! It is clear that they hold the responseabillaty and are trying all that they can spare no expense! Working at 5,280+ feet is like nothing that has ever been done before. In diving terms that is 160 atm’s of pressure. If there was an easy fix the goverment would have stepped in by now and have it stopped but you don’t see them jumping around with solutions. Not to say they are worth a dam for anything except spending yours and my money. They want no part of this because anything that is tried could end up making this bad situation even worse! They would rather leave it up to BP so if it happens they have someone they can blame! What we are being spoon fed by the news networks is these are a bunch of idiots trying to get this stopped. If these news people and others think they are smart enough to know what it is like to work at a mile under the surface of the ocean let them step forward. Until that happens these are the best at what they do and they are working it from every angle. As far as the cleanup Gov. Jindal from La. asked for federal help to save the marshes weeks ago and Barck and his gang are still blaming and ” let me be perfectly clear and transparent” just starting to help! You don’t see this or hear this on the news and that should be the real question! WHY! If you wish to help BP is hiring like crazy for cleanup and wild life rescue employees on the gulf coast. From SE Texas, all of Louisiana and Alabama. They need help not some dumb ass reading the news rag to us and we buy his every word. This is bad, very bad. And trashing the only people who are trying to fix it is not HELP!

  3. Russ Nolte /

    Anne,
    Please feel free to put my name on my comments! If I say it I will stand by it! I thank you for your caution but a good conversation on this ( and many other) subjects are always welcomed. We are all free to speak our minds (at least for now) and we need to keep it that way.
    All the best & GOD bless,
    Russ
    P.S. Check out my F/B.

  4. howie roever /

    I am not ‘on the ground’ in and around the Gulf, but regardless of what BP is, or isn’t doing, I agree, enough of the spin already. But it’s not going to stop; this we know.
    Yes BP has an army of PR peeps trying to put the oil giant in the best light possible. But also, and you know this is true, perhaps even a bigger army of lawyers, trying to save their ass (and a few mega-billion dollars). These lawyers have their eyes on ‘punitive’ damages which can be awarded in the endless litigation ahead. And what BP says now, will surely go a long way in determining these damages — in in my humble opinion. So thus, they spin, and spin.
    Makes one wish that they has put nearly the same thought into a few backup plans before dropping that ‘disaster waiting to happen’ out there in those once pristine waters, huh?

  5. Kim McGraw /

    I was in Savannah this week and the topic of conversation was the disaster in the gulf.

    The time for pointing fingers will come. The legal wrangling will go on for years. Right now we need to get the best minds in the world focusing on a solution.

  6. There are many methods for extracting oil from tar sands and tar sands don’t always exist on the surface, such as in Alberta Canada where the sands are too far below the surface for open pit extraction.

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