How much does a full-page ad go for in a publication like the New York Times? So much that corporations often institute confidentiality agreements with the paper to ensure the cost will not be shared with the public.
Two full-page ads in the New York Times, countless of prime-time TV spots and other expensive marketing tactics are being implemented by BP in an effort to improve public perception and run damage control over the Gulf Coast spill. That’s millions of dollars towards their self-preservation efforts, while the world watches and wonders why that money isn’t going towards gulf-coast preservation.
Proactive communication via expensive forms of purchased media are actually hurting BP. The millions of dollars spent on ads could be going to the clean-up and to fully compensate those who have submitted claims. I’d argue that BP would be in a better place right now had they decided to stick with press conferences and effective social media engagement.
In the case studies that will be written about this PR disaster in a few years, I bet BP is dinged for one overarching communication flaw, and that’s their inability to completely disregard their self-preservation efforts in order to “make it right” like the tagline says.