BP and the controversy over the Google ad placements

Some of the discussion in the marketing press recently has been about BP using Google advertisement links to get its side to the story across on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  Much of the reaction has been from blogs about the fact that BP had the gall to defend itself.

I find this reaction exceptionally disturbing, regardless of what you think about BP and the Gulf of Mexico – there is something deeply repellent abut the two-minute hate being dished out as the wisdom of mobs once again washes over the web.

BP made a mess of things, it has a poor safety record, failed to listen to their own engineers and hasn’t handled itself well in the situation. However BP shouldn’t be standing in the dock on its own:

  • Much of the government outrage has more to do with covering up tactical errors at the start of the event by the Obama administration – particularly as mid-term elections are due late this year and administrative failings eerily mirror the missteps of the Bush administration post-hurricane Katrina
  • The US government bodies responsible for regulating the industry has proven to be woefully inadequate in doing its job for a number of years, a bit like FEMA post-Katrina. If they had requested extra safety equipment it would have been fitted