BP in £60m advertising blitz following oil spill

Tony Hayward: BP chief executive who steps down next month
Tony Hayward: BP chief executive who steps down next month

BP more than tripled its advertising budget in the three months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as the energy giant looked to combat negative publicity and rising public anger in the US.

Between April and 2 July this year, BP spent $93m (£60m) on advertising, more than $5m a week. This compares to less than $30m spent during the same period tin 2009.

The bumper marketing costs were highlighted by a Congressional energy committee in Florida this week, amid criticism that the money could have been better spent on combating the decline in Florida tourism after the 20 April rig explosion.

Republican Kathy Castor said: "While BP's advertising campaign ramped up, businesses and the Gulf communities struggled to deal with the costs of the disaster. While BP's advertising campaign is being executed like clockwork, business and state claims have languished."

BP's increased spend was directed at local and national newspapers, magazines television.

However, according to the information provided to the committee on Monday (30 August), BP actually aired fewer total ads on television and radio than over the same period last year, "but a higher percentage were national and longer, 60-second spots".

BP told the committee it had increased ad spend to keep gulf residents informed of issues and to ensure transparency during the recovery process.

The company also highlighted the fact that the expenditure was easily dwarfed by the $61bn BP spent on spill response and compensation during the same period.

During the crisis, BP also turned to social media sites to provide regular updates on the leak. BP America's Facebook page, launched by its spill response team, attracted more than 40,000 followers, and BP America's Twitter site has more than 18,500 followers.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug