Suddenly I see

14 Mar

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?

One Response to “Suddenly I see”

  1. David Phillips 15/03/2006 at 1:14 pm #

    That PR should use advertising as a tool is quite legitimate. In fact all advertising should be driven by the PR manager. The reason Advertsising is falling off the end of the world is because it is ‘in yer face’ and not part of the long conversation.
    In building relationships, a range of techniques have to be used and advertising is but one.

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