According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, BP tripled its ad spend to $93 million in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
BP said it ramped up spending to inform residents of affected states of the progress of cleanup efforts and publicize the claims process. The ads ran on local and national TV, newspapers, magazines and online.
BP says its primary goal was to inform the public about clean-up efforts and, more importantly, the claims process that allows oil-spill victims to receive compensation for lost wages or property damage.
"Our objective has been to create informational advertising to assure people that we will meet our commitments and tell them how they can get help—especially claims," said BP spokesman Scott Dean. "It is an important tool to help us be transparent about what we are doing."
The problem was, as much as BP spent on paid media, extolling its virtues and claiming they would take full responsibility for the oil spill and clean-up, journalists were reporting on repeated failures of BP to cap the well, and to process claims quickly.
It is hard to tell, but I'd say most of that $93 million in advertising was a waste of money. Now is the time (as tempers and news reports are subsiding) to spend money on repairing their image.