Greenpeace uses national ads to attack BP

Greenpeace has unveiled a press advertisement accusing BP CEO Tony Hayward of cutting investment in clean energy in favour of dirty sources of oil.

Greenpeace's BP campaign
Greenpeace’s BP campaign

The charity says it is publishing the ad to increase pressure on the oil giant, as the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico continues to escalate.

The ad aims to promote a new competition by the charity, inviting designers and industry experts, as well as members of the public, to redesign BP’s logo to “better reflect the company’s operations abroad.”

Greenpeace says the winning logo will be used in “innovative and confrontational” ways as part of an ongoing international campaign against the oil company.

It has already used guerrilla marketing tactics to champion its case, by sending trained climbers to scale a balcony above the front entrance to BP’s London HQ to hang a giant flag bearing a specially designed, oil soaked BP logo as an indication of what the winner might expect.

Today’s (20 May) action will increase the pressure on CEO Tony Hayward as he returns to the company’s head office for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico a month ago. Overnight Greenpeace projected the words “YOUR LOGO HERE” on giant fuel storage tanks in the refinery which supplies BP in South East England.

Greenpeace says it is acting to stop BP’s plans to extract oil from the tar sands of Canada, because this will release even more carbon dioxide than drilling for regular oil.

BP oil disaster
BP oil disaster

The contest will run for six weeks, ending on 28 June. The winning logo will feature throughout the campaign and Greenpeace says it will be used in several high profile, iconic locations as well as a further national newspaper advert.

Three categories will be considered – professional designer, general public and under 16. A panel of experts from the design and marketing community will judge the winner.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK says: “BP’s famous green logo is there to distract us from what this company really stands for. This company has chosen to extract the last drops of oil from deep-sea wells and the tar sands of Canada, instead of developing the clean technologies that can actually help beat climate change.

“That’s why we’re calling in the experts. We’re hoping that the design community and the public will help us come up with a logo that will actually reflect BP’s obsession with dirty oil.”

BP’s brand reputation crisis following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has left rival petroleum companies relatively unscathed, according to YouGov BrandIndex data.

BP’s Index score remained positive until last Monday (10 May), when it admitted the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has cost it $350m (£235m) so far.


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