Before becoming the public face and private pocketbook of the environmentally devastating Gulf oil spill, BP spent years rebranding itself as an environmentally friendly energy company under the tagline "Beyond Petroleum." All the while, according to new lawsuits, the very profitable oil giant was putting its workers and the environment at risk by skimping on relatively cheap safeguards. Will BP's attempt to paint itself as green make it harder for the company to recover from the Gulf spill disaster? (Watch a Fox report about BP's suffering image)
BP's green campaign deepens the company's troubles: "Irony isn't good for business," says Eric Dezenhall in The Daily Beast, and it's certainly ironic that BP's "curious embrace of flower power" could now leave it "hoisted upon its own sunflower petard." BP's green pretensions make it a ripe target for "withering scrutiny," and if it the Gulf spill drags on, "'Beyond Petroleum' may become the corporate cousin of 'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.'"
"BP's image will recover"
It will get over this soon enough: "Beyond Petroleum" is a little too easily changed to "Beyond Pathetic," says Robert Trigaux in the St. Petersburg Times, especially since this oil spill is only the latest in BP's "history of screwups." But our thirst for oil will outweigh our outrage at BP, and before long some other "corporate punching bag" will emerge to sate our "national obsession" with assessing blame.
"BP takes its turn as corporate punching bag"
BP's actions will speak louder than its tagline: BP's real rhetorical flub was its "glib, pre-drilling assurances that it could handle any accident" at the rig, says USA Today in an editorial. If it hopes to "win back the public trust" it has squandered, it will have to spend less of its hefty profit on marketing and more on safety and "cleaning up the mess they've made."
"Why can't oil companies clean up after themselves?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why Halbig and the conservative war on ObamaCare will fail
Subscribe to the Week