Damned if you do and damned if you don’t

September 2, 2010

Should BP be communicate, or be silent? Or, is $5 million a week a small amount to reassure the American public of BP’s intent to stay to course and do the right thing? Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Florida, claims that BP has spent more on “polishing the corporate image” than on helping the impacted states to recover from the disaster.

The fact is that BP has spent $89.5 million in grants to four Gulf Coast states to promote tourism, while spending $93 million on corporate advertising for itself. No question that the billions being spent in total on the gulf spill will make the corporate advertising seem like a drop in the bucket. But still the question remains, what is the right thing to do in this instance?

I believe the purpose of the BP ad campaign is communicating to the public about the corporation’s long-term commitment to “make things right.” That is not the same as self-promotion. I think their corporate campaign is useful and valuable communication. Their brand image will ultimately be judged by their follow through on this promise.

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