Tuesday 1 February 2011

BP Abandons Pretence Of Its Greenwash Advertising

Remember the "Beyond Petroleum" campaign (above), which oil giant BP invested in heavily over much of the last decade and that was praised by the business press? Its advertising portrayed itself as a socially conscious company, one that cared about global warming and its link to energy use. It suggested that BP intended to position itself at the forefront of investment in renewable technologies and, in the words of its American Marketing Association Effie Gold award in 2007, "wanted to be different".

It was always greenwash of course - what BP really meant by 'clean' energy was natural gas. It was what Corp Watch described as "perhaps the ultimate co-optation of environmentalists' language and message". But following last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has finally abandoned any last pretence behind its long-running adverts.

Today the company recorded a full-year loss of £3.1bn to December 31, compared with profits of £8.7bn in 2009. In response, chief executive Bob Dudley has said in a statement that "BP intends to increase significantly its investment in exploration and to focus its upstream business on significant opportunities in key oil and gas basins" This will involve "licences to gain new access in basins worldwide including Brazil, the South China Sea, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, the UK and... Australia and, subject to government approvals, Angola"

In other words, the company is going all out to make its shareholders more money by drilling for fossil fuels, including more high risk deep-water oil exploration.

So much for becoming a company that "wanted to be different". So much for moving 'beyond' petroleum.

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