Three months after news of the spill first hit, the majority (57%) of brand marketers polled say they would now take a job with the oil giant, confident they would relish the role of recovering the brand image. 23% say that they would avoid such association at all costs, perceiving it as ’a poisoned chalice’.
However, brand experts think the BP brand can bounce back. The vast majority (90%) of brand marketers surveyed believed the brand would recover completely over the long term.
Only 10% said the brand was tarnished forever. And when asked if the British Olympic Committee should drop BP as a sponsor, just 24% said yes.
The poll comes amidst reports that BP directors are investigating options to restructure the business, including a possible break up, pointing to the size of the challenge for BP’s branding team.
Specialist marketing recruiter EMR surveyed over 200 brand marketers for their thoughts on the challenge the company has in rebuilding its reputation since the explosion on 20 April 2010.
Simon Basset, managing director of EMR says: “Reputation is everything in modern business and the BP oil spill has served as the perfect example of this. Bad news has led to reputational damage and a run on the company’s shares. This has had far-reaching consequences, for example hitting the value of pension funds across the UK which invest in BP shares.
“Now reports are saying that the leak has stopped, the company desperately needs to rebuild its image. The company itself is not failing and our poll reveals that most branding experts would take on the challenge of recovering BP’s reputation. It really would be the ultimate challenge for anybody in the industry.
“It is yet to be seen if the brand equity can be salvaged. It will require the best branding talent, a lot of hard work and a long time to provide the oxygen for a complete recovery.”