I’ve been puzzling for months why BP (formerly British Petroleum) should be spending millions on newspaper and magazine ads to proclaim its environmental credentials (think Beyond Petroleum).
Is it an example of the company pursuing long-term competitive advantage at the expense of short-term gain (affordable enough in this industry)? If so, it must rank alongside the Philip Morris admission that ‘there’s no such thing as a safe cigarette’ as a textbook example of corporate long-termism. (It must also be a rare example of advertising deployed as a public relations tactic.)
But here’s another possible explanation for BP’s advertising. In the context of oil and gas price hikes, fuel shortages and record oil company profits, is the campaign aimed at insulating BP from consumer (and political) criticism?