The last time I offered an opinion on this blog was to say that everyone should quit trying to assign blame for the Gulf oil spill and worry about fixing the leak. Obviously, nobody took my advice because the blame game was in full play throughout.
With the clean up well underway and the leak apparently stopped, I think it is fair to say that BP has taken the brunt of the blame and perhaps more than its share. There are a myriad of others in the government and the private sectors that share at least some of the blame, but for the most part the public’s outrage has been directed at BP.
What’s ridiculous to me is that in this blame game, there is almost a notion that somehow BP knew this would eventually happen and did little to prevent it. That is absurd. What for-profit company would ever undertake a project of this magnitude knowing full well that a disaster of this proportion could negatively impact its bottom line and sully its reputation forever? Did BP believe this accident was a probability? I highly doubt it. BP didn’t become a global leader by taking extraordinary risks.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not defending BP, but I think everything needs to be viewed in perspective. Did you know that BP was a leader among oil producers in promoting environmental programs before the Gulf disaster? BP’s good works that preceded this disaster have not been of interest to the media. One might find it ironic, and others might term it “green washing”, but the fact is, BP has done some good things on the environmental front for which they should be credited.
On the other hand, they’ve done some things that make me scratch my bald head, which brings me to BP’s TV campaign. Okay guys, I get it that you want to put a good face on the company. Fine, you should want to do that, but I have to tell you that the TV spots, where BP representatives, including Tony Hayward, talk about how they’re going to be working day and night to make sure every drop of oil is removed from the Gulf and the beaches — and the environment is going to be fully restored — are a bit much.
To me – and this is just my opinion – this comes off as “look at what we are doing, aren’t we wonderful and terrific?” Well, yes, that is true of the people doing the work. Hats off to those folks. It’s hard work and from all accounts, they’re doing a great job, but I don’t think those are all BP employees out there.
The commercials literally make me roll my eyes. From my neutral perspective, they look incredibly disingenuous and if I were counseling BP (which I am not), I would recommend against such ads. I believe they only inflame the passions of those who were already angry about the Gulf oil spill and make many of us wonder what in the world they are thinking.
To BP I say, just do your job without waving your flag and get back to what made your company successful.
What do you think? Maybe you disagree, maybe you don’t. I’m open to comments!