‘Beyond petroleum’ not looking so slick now


BP's "Beyond petroleum" campaign, launched by Ogilvy & Mather almost a decade ago, has always been borderline ludicrous, positioning the oil company as essentially anti-oil (or at least post-oil). Critics have long characterized the ads as the height of hypocrisy and greenwashing (given BP's relatively small investment in alternate energies compared to its core business, and its pursuit of environmentally controversial projects like its oil sands work in Canada). Now, its purportedly green image has been dirtied once again with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, caused by a sunken rig it was operating. Anger toward the company has been muted so far, with only isolated calls for a boycott, but that may change when the spill reaches the coast. For BP's sake, hopefully there aren't too many overly dramatic, attention-seeking otters around.

—Posted by Tim Nudd