Oil company BP has been promoting its green image for some time, and apparently doing well enough to be rated as one of the UK’s top 20 green brands in one survey. (Take a look at their website to see why this might be).
At the same time, it’s just applied to the city of Chicago for a permit to dump more toxic waste into Lake Michigan (and, sadly, has received it).
The move, which allows BP to dump 54% more ammonia and 35% more suspended solids into the lake, enraged officials in the Windy City and raised the specter of consumer boycotts of BP, which has its U.S. base in Chicago.
But mainly the matter drew attention to the cardinal sin of touting an environmentally conscious image in marketing—the central focus of BP’s advertising for the past several years—and failing to live up to the message.
Nice work chaps. And in a nice ironical response, BP’s run yet more ads:
To mitigate the backlash, BP started advertising in regional newspapers several weeks ago to clear up misconceptions about the issue, a spokesman said.
We think they should focus on a different kind of clearing up. Meanwhile, local papers are up in arms, calling for a boycott of the company’s petrol stations.