Tarnished BP calls on people to “Be Proud Join In”

BP could be set to ramp up London Olympics-related activity under the “Be Proud Join In” slogan as it looks to rebuild its tarnished reputation following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The oil company has registered a trademark with the IPO for the phrase under categories including “placement of advertising” and “business services relating to sponsorships of sport events”.

The company is one of seven tier one sponsors of the London 2012 Games alongside BT, Adidas and British Airways. It is one of three sustainability partners and the official oil and gas partner after signing a sponsorship deal worth around £50m in 2008.

BP would not give any further details but a spokesperson says it regularly registers trademarks “in anticipation of using them for different campaigns” but added that not all registered trademarks are used.

BP says the registered trademark for “Be Proud Join In” is not related to corporate advertising but did not rule out that it was related to its Olympic sponsorship.

The company launched the “London 2012 Young Leaders Programme” in January described as a “personal development” that will give young people “the chance to make a positive and significant change to their lives and local communities”.

Marketing activity has been subdued, however, in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in May.

The company came under fire over its handling of the crisis. Environmental charity Greenpeace warned London Olympic chiefs that the 2012 Games risked being tarnished by its association with BP but Locog stood by the sponsor as a “valued” partner of the Games.

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