Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

Professor Alan Middleton on BP's attempts at damage control: Play it cheap

Professor Alan Middleton on BP's attempts at damage control: Play it cheap

The company responsible for what is being called the biggest ecological disaster in US history is facing a flood of criticism being spread through social media and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight, wrote the Toronto Star June 10 in a story about efforts by the company to redirect Web traffic to its own sites to convey positive messaging about the cleanup effort:

Alan Middleton, a marketing professor with the Schulich School of Business at York University, said communicating with consumers through options that appear to cost very little is an important part of BP’s strategy at this point. “If they are seen to be wasting their money on fighting back too hard that is going to trigger a whole new wave of opposition,” said Middleton.

BP has purchased space in newspapers to spread their message, but they are being selective, said Middleton.

“The trick is you can’t be seen as spending too much because it is going to result in the very obvious question,” which is why aren’t you using the funds to improve safety procedures or support fisherman about to lose their livelihoods, he said. At this point the best BP can do is to appear transparent and attempt to moderate what is being said about them online, he said.

BP must be seen as apologetic and responsible but remind consumers there were two other companies involved in the crisis, he said.

The complete article is available on The

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.