BP says actions speak louder than words

BP will repair its “tarnished” brand by “doing the right thing” and rebuilding trust, rather than reputation management, according to BP’s chief marketer.

Luc Bardin, BP group chief sales and marketing officer, says that the most important thing for a brand during a crisis is to be clear about its role and to be transparent and accessible about it.

BP’s brand has suffered since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in May and the PR gaffes by former CEO Tony Hayward. The oil well was only finally sealed last week.

In Interbrand’s latest league table of the most valuable brands, BP disappeared from the top 100.

“The visual identity of the brand isn’t so important. What the brand really means, its positioning, values, actions, behaviours and relationships is what really matters,” he says.

“The BP brand has been tarnished and in the future there is a massive task at hand, but actions are much stronger than words. It’s not about reputation management it’s about doing the right thing.”

During the crisis BP has done little or no advertising outside of the US and the affected regions, and Bardin says that the oil firm has changed its approach to marketing to reflect that it is taking responsibility.

Bardin says that the firm has focussed its resources in the US to communicate the action it is taking and BP’s commitment to staying in the Gulf “as long as it takes to make it right”.

He adds that when the time is right, BP will restart its advertising elsewhere globally.


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