BP timing poor for Nectar promotion

BP’s attempts to restore its public reputation in the UK by offering double Nectar points has been slammed as “derisory” in light of the ongoing oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company has teamed up with the loyalty card provider to promote the offer under the banner “fuel you can trust” and makes pledges such as “our quality control means you can get consistently great fuel… reward yourself with quality fuel”.

But Mark Slunger, a brand consultant for Instant Recognition, says: “This offer strikes me as another PR gaffe by the company in light of what is happening in the US right now. Proclaiming its quality and making claims such as ’our customers deserve more’ is irresponsible and derisory.

While Nectar collectors will be happy, many will be distraught at this.”

Industry experts have also slammed the offer as a bad move by the petrol giant.
“The BP double points campaign through Nectar is pathetic, derisory and damaging. It’s another case of BP being stupid,” one marketing industry insider says.

According to a BP spokesperson, the offer “is an ongoing programme with Nectar” and is intended to “remind Nectar customers about the BP fuel offers”. The campaign extends from a previous service called BP Ultimate Club, which rewarded Nectar cardholders who purchased 150 litres or more of BP Ultimate fuel per quarter. The current campaign ends on 9 August.

A recent YouGov survey found that 59% of British respondents blamed BP for the severity of the oil spill. Underwater robots have now successfully removed a leaking cap on BP’s blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well, the first stage in fitting a tighter cap.

Related articles:

  • To read Mark Ritson’s latest opinion piece on BP click here

The BP oil crisis and its aftermath – from a brand that had tried to reposition itself as sustainablehas raised the question whether rebrands can ever really work:

  • To read the cover story relating to this: ’Actions speak louder than logos’click here
  • To read Mark Ritson’s response to the cover story click here.
  • To view the Top 10 mistakes marketers make when rebranding – and how to avoid them table, click here.
  • To read Mark Choueke’s opinion on BP’s woes, click here.
  • For three business viewpoints click here.

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