TLP: Of Course, That's Really a $93 Million Write-Off

Thursday, September 02, 2010 , , 0 Comments

bp advertising
Nothing like a little corporate crisis management to give a major bump to struggling media advertising.

It will come as little surprise to newspaper readers and television watchers, but BP significantly increased its spending on advertising after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. BP spent $93.4 million on newspaper, magazine, television and Internet advertising in the three months after the disaster, three times what it spent in the comparable period in 2009, the company reported to Congress.

The oil giant, based in Britain, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that it had put fewer television and radio commercials on the air after the accident than it did a year earlier, but those it did were longer and ran nationwide.

The company also said it had broadened the markets in which it ran local newspaper advertisements, hitting 126 markets in 17 states. The company concentrated heavily in states directly affected by the spill — Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. It also took out ads in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

BP also gave $89.5 million in grants after the accident for tourism promotion along the Gulf Coast.
Of course, it's really not the best reason to make the decision to increase ad spending — and demonstrates why media companies need to keep the business and news units separate so the reporting isn't tainted by the ad revenue. But maybe it's heartening to see BP contributing directly to the economy.

Maybe. Seems the ads were made more for BP than the viewers, if you agree with the commenters in the NYT story.

"These ads made me sick. I'm sure I'm not alone.," says LM of New York. You are not alone, LM. Meet MH of Los Angeles: "The ads BP is running are disingenuous. They take no responsibility and come off as if they are sticking around to help with the clean up out of altruism. Why can't they just run an ad that say, 'we're sorry'?"

That's a different kind of crisis management. It's a little late to be expecting it from BP.

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.