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BP Buys "Oil Spill" Search Term 439

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-say-i'm-surprised dept.
technology_dude found an unsurprising but amusing little story that BP is buying keywords on Google and Yahoo for things like "Oil Spill" to help spin some damage control. I guess if you can't plug your spill, the least you can do is try to clog the flow of information.
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BP Buys "Oil Spill" Search Term

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  • by swschrad (312009) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:27AM (#32496366) Homepage Journal

    how about they concentrate their efforts a mile down instead?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lennier1 (264730)

      Before you know it they'll buy other applicable terms like "criminal negligence" as well.

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      It's all about the publicity.

    • by Leebert (1694) * on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:46AM (#32496698)

      Good question. I mean, I hear that the janitors are still cleaning the toilets in BP headquarters! Where are their priorities?!

      Seriously, they're a big company, they can focus on more than one thing at a time... It's like the Mythical Man-Month -- Just throwing resources at the problem isn't necessarily going to make it better, and could well make it worse.

      • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:48AM (#32496730) Homepage Journal

        It's not that they're doing more than one thing at a time, it's that they're trying to get the top results for "oil spill" so that real news are pushed down the list of results.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's not like anybody is going to confuse a site on bp.com with real news.

          Probably the reason is that reporting of the oil spill cleanup efforts are riddled with inaccuracies and falsehoods. I was reading several news organizations reports on the "top hat" approach a month or so ago and the amount of variability was insane, given that all they had to do was accurately re-print what BP Engineering had published. Some papers actually claimed it was "ice" clogging up the device for goodness sake.

          People like to

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AndersOSU (873247)

            People reading newspapers don't know what methyl hydrates and clathrates are. Ice is a reasonable description for something that is liquid under STP, but solid at the bottom of the ocean.

        • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:49PM (#32499016)

          If by "real news" you mean "more media hype" then yes. We get it - the oil spill is an environmental disaster. It's bad for BP, it's really bad for fisherman in the Gulf, and it's generally bad for the economy in all the Gulf states, and it's definitely bad for the marine ecosystem.

          BP has already suffered a near crippling blow. They have lost *100 billion* dollars in market cap. The CEO is going to be toast along with quite a few other people as soon as they have the situation calmed down - the board just doesn't want to toast him until things quiet down a bit. The other companies involved, Transocean, Andarko, etc. have suffered proportionally similar blows, accounting for 10s of billions of dollars in additional market cap wiped out.

          And the sad thing is that the "punish BP" bloodlust is just going to result in thousands of decent Americans who work in the energy industry losing jobs in the inevitable restructurings that will come, and those jobs will end up going elsewhere, since we still will be consuming the oil here.

          The only worse penalty BP as a corporate organization could pay at this point is a firesale takeover (because their successor will have to eat the huge contingent liability here). If somebody or somebodies at BP were negligent or actively broke safety regulations, then by all means, they should be criminally prosecuted for their actions. Top execs will already pay the price when they get the boot from their cushy jobs for the poor oversight they have exercised. If they did something criminal, they should be prosecuted too.

          But this ... obsession ... with personalizing "BP" as some sort of entity that has committed an evil act that we can "punish" in any way further than has already been done is baffling to me. People - it's *been* punished. There are a bunch of marketing and PR weenies on staff at BP and they are just trying to do their jobs here. There's nothing wrong with them promoting the site they put up as a source of information for the public about the oil spill.

          What's more, at this point, more economic damage is actually being done by media hype than by oil itself. The damage to the Florida tourism industry isn't being caused by a few tar balls that washed up, it's being caused by panicked morons canceling their vacations because of what they saw on the news. While I'm all for BP and friends covering the costs of actual damage from their oil spill, I don't think it's reasonable to hold anybody other than the media accountable for the damage from their hype machine, and I can't blame BP's PR people for trying to do what they can to get their side of the story out there (as long as they aren't simply lying about it).

          • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @03:12PM (#32500496) Homepage

            BP has already suffered a near crippling blow. They have lost *100 billion* dollars in market cap. ... 10s of billions of dollars in additional market cap wiped out.

            Oh noes, not market cap! That's the thing about market cap -- it can be wiped out instantly, but it can come back too, and the only people who lose anything are the ones who sold while it was down. If BP was planning on buying out a smaller oil company using shares of their stock, well, now would be a bad time to do that. Oh noes!

            In the meantime, BP continues to make real profits to the tune of tens of millions per day.

            I'm not saying it's not a blow, but it's hardly crippling. Companies can continue to operate and make substantial profits even after tremendous stock price drops. And if BP does continue to make money, then their stock price will recover.

            And the sad thing is that the "punish BP" bloodlust is just going to result in thousands of decent Americans who work in the energy industry losing jobs in the inevitable restructurings that will come, and those jobs will end up going elsewhere, since we still will be consuming the oil here.

            It's an odd mentality, where the cause-and-effect here wouldn't be the obvious "Executive negligence in their company losing many jobs", but rather "the public caring that the executives cut corners and ignored signs because it would cost time and thus money resulted in this disaster, and subsequent job loss".

            Yes, obviously the solution is that we should not care!

            No. If people attributed cause and effect correctly, maybe we'd get some real change around here.

            Top execs will already pay the price when they get the boot from their cushy jobs for the poor oversight they have exercised. If they did something criminal, they should be prosecuted too.

            Oh noes they'll be fired from their cushy jobs! They might have to lay low living off their scant millions for a while before getting a cushy VP job somewhere else because the last thing the incestuous network of corporate executives and board members want is to raise standards.

            Nothing short of criminal prosecution will be any kind of real punishment. I'm not holding my breath on the end result, but at least one thing is going right.

            But this ... obsession ... with personalizing "BP" as some sort of entity that has committed an evil act that we can "punish" in any way further than has already been done is baffling to me. People - it's *been* punished.

            Yeah, by only making half as much net profit -- estimates of BP's efforts at cleanup and stopping the leak per day are about half of their net profit per day.

            Oh, the punishment! Their Q2 and Q3 earnings statements will be less glowing! They may be penalized in the market, until the expected profits return! Please. Call me when they go into the red, even for a single quarter.

            By the way, the obsession with personalizing a corporation as some sort of entity unto itself has been the obsession of the corporate executives since early last century. Is it any wonder that we have bought into the delusion that "BP" can do anything on its own? "Corporate personhood" is their baby.

            If you want to end that delusion, I'm all for it. But realize that the executives themselves are on the other side of this one from you, as is for that matter the law.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Fnkmaster (89084)

              Nice rant. I'll only bother with addressing the parts with content.

              It's an odd mentality, where the cause-and-effect here wouldn't be the obvious "Executive negligence in their company losing many jobs", but rather "the public caring that the executives cut corners and ignored signs because it would cost time and thus money resulted in this disaster, and subsequent job loss".

              I don't know how you got this from what I said. I never suggested that the public caring about the environment is to blame for lost

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Chowderbags (847952)

            Top execs will already pay the price when they get the boot from their cushy jobs for the poor oversight they have exercised.

            Yeah, where's the sympathy for those poor executives. How will Tony Hayward survive without his 2.5 million pound compensation package? If he gets fired and can't find another job, he might have to live in only semi-luxury for the rest of his life! The horror!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by six11 (579)

        It's like the Mythical Man-Month -- Just throwing resources at the problem isn't necessarily going to make it better, and could well make it worse.

        I'm not sure about that. While Brooks was talking about software and computer hardware engineers, I'm sure you weren't literally talking about plugging the hole with BP engineers. It would be more logical to use BP executives, since they know more about oil flow than computer nerds. Just a hypothesis to test: We would have to actually try stuffing the pipe with BP executives to see if that would stop the flow. And unlike Brooks's theory, I suspect using more BP executives would improve improve the pipe some

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ColdWetDog (752185)

          Just a hypothesis to test: We would have to actually try stuffing the pipe with BP executives to see if that would stop the flow.

          They already tried that - remember the 'junk shot'? They even let the execs bring their golf stuff along.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PhilHibbs (4537)

      How exactly can the PR and marketing department assist a mile underwater? Answer, they can't. BP has to survive as a company in order to be able to fix the problem and make amends. They could go bust, but how would that help anyone?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dominious (1077089)
      Listen. Yesterday i did type "oil spill" in google search and got into the bp website, where i found that they have a suggestions page and a volunteer page and I could actually participate for solving this problem. I think it is much more helpful for everyone if bp handles these search terms.

      Or do you prefer to get a massive amount of hate webpages from bloggers that would actually do no difference to the actual problem?
  • At this point does BP actually think they can buy their way out of this with good PR?

    • Re:Who Cares (Score:5, Insightful)

      by qoncept (599709) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:32AM (#32496452) Homepage
      This is a pretty ignorant, if rhetorical, question. Along the lines of asking what good replacing a 100w incandescent light bulb with a 23w CFL is in the grand scheme of things. The answer? The single light bulb and the single PR marketing action make virtually no impact. Are they pointless?

      BP obviously wants to continue operating and overcome this disaster. Regardless of what other actions they take, do you think that is possible WITHOUT trying to boost their image through PR?
      • Re:Who Cares (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:45AM (#32496694) Journal

        I'm saying at this point I don't think they can boost their image. Wasting money on PR seems like throwing money down the toilet. There's a point at which you're so reviled that any attempt to make yourself look less despicable only feeds into the negative view the public has of you.

        • Re:Who Cares (Score:5, Informative)

          by aicrules (819392) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:00PM (#32496908)
          While it may be good PR for them to have what they have on the Oil Spill link, it actually IS a very helpful link versus the rest of the results. Have you actually looked at what they have on that page? While the highlighted area is basically to let people know what they are doing, there is a bunch of very useful information and links also on that page. Important phone numbers, links to the four State response websites, ROV footage...stuff that they don't HAVE to put on a "Damage Control" link. They may only have done it because that was the only way to have any hope of repairing their image once this is over, but it's a better source of information that most of the other links you'll find in the results. AND it's in the sponsored link section, clearly pointing out that it's not just a run of the mill search result.
    • Re:Who Cares (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameMaster (148118) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:33AM (#32496466)

      Yes. It worked, for the most part, for Exxon and Union Carbide. They'll, probably, just try to play by the play-book those two companies used. History shows that the public has a short memory/attention span.

      • Re:Who Cares (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:39AM (#32496600) Journal

        The Valdez incident was in a fairly unpopulated part of a state with a very small population. Union Carbide was in India, and thus not only a long way off, but impacting foreigners.

        This is literally happening in a very populated, economically important region of the Continental United States. I mean, these people still talk about Hurricane Andrew, so no, I don't think they'll be forgetting how BP poisoned the Gulf Coast.

      • Re:Who Cares (Score:4, Interesting)

        by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:18PM (#32498424)
        While both incidents were unfortunate, I'd have to put BP in a different class than Exxon and Union Carbide. For the most part the two companies haven't had many major disasters or accidents in their long history. BP on the other hand have had 2 other major incidents [wikipedia.org] in the last 5 years. Over the last 3 years, BP has recorded 760 OSHA safety violations [thedailyshow.com]. Their competitors:
        • Sunoco, 8
        • Conoco-Phillips, 8
        • Citgo, 2
        • Exxon, 1

        In order words, BP has almost 40x the incidents than all their competitors combined.

    • Re:Who Cares (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:33AM (#32496482) Journal
      Given that they've been at the "warmer, fuzzier, more baby-seal-loving, oil company" PR game for something like a decade now(I'm guessing that they might be doing a little less advertising in National Geographic in the near future; but they were all over the place with their "Beyond Petroleum" spin) I'd assume that they have an entrenched internal culture that is convinced of exactly that.

      Given the public's relatively short attention span, and the fervor of the ostensibly-libertarian-but-basically-authoritarian-corporatist wing, which blithely asserts that any state interference in the sovereign right of corporations to do whatever the fuck they want, or even say mean things when the inevitable consequences occur, is socialist fascism; they may well be correct.
    • by cusco (717999)
      Yeah, I think they do.

      I heard the other day again the ridiculous meme that "the Internet will always be free" and "you can't control information on the Internet". Wrong.

      Since most people can't find information without a search engine they're only going to find the information that BP wants them to find.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        I just typed "gulf oil spill" in Google. What I came up with is three stories; one about Obama trying to deflect criticism about his handling of the spill, one about the confirmation of oil plumes (and once again BP is caught lying, BTW), and one about the fight to contain the oil spill to last months.

        About the only really questionable one is a site obviously put up by BP called gulfoilspill.com, and it's a helluva laugh to read.

        Google is not giving BP good PR. In fact, because of its news scanning, it's

      • Re:Who Cares (Score:5, Informative)

        by delinear (991444) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:52AM (#32496772)
        You do realise that they've bought an ad space, they're not paying to bury all the other organic search results. It's one ad that appears in the clearly marked sponsored area and links to a page that gives some information about how they're trying (and failing) to do anything, with some webcams and a pitiful "have you got any ideas to help?" request. It's hardly preventing people finding the information they want, any more than Dulux are trying to destroy our cultural heritage by preventing us accessing information on the great artists because they show an ad when I search for "painting".
  • In the US. (Score:4, Informative)

    by leuk_he (194174) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:28AM (#32496388) Homepage Journal

    If i google "oil spill" here (Netherlands) it does not show sponsered links.

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:29AM (#32496398) Homepage Journal

    I'd have expected less of them... But I guess they're doing pretty well so far with their coverage on bp.com and using dispersants to keep most of the spill at depth and keeping away science vessels so they're free to misunderestimate the true magnitude.

    Wonder what their PR budget is compared to their recovery budget.

    • I would have brought in a fleet of NOAA research vessels accompanied by a full-flotilla of Coast Guard or Navy accompaniment, just to show BP no-one owns the ocean.
      • You've obviously not been watching the last 20 to 30 years of military engagement. BP know exactly who owns the ocean - it's you who doesn't.

    • But I guess they're doing pretty well so far with their coverage on bp.com and using dispersants to keep most of the spill at depth and keeping away science vessels so they're free to misunderestimate the true magnitude.

      Science vessels? According to Newsweek, it's photographers and people looking to document the damage [newsweek.com] that BP is turning away. Now that's some unadulterated bullshit "damage control."

      I heard on NPR that some people looking to investigate beaches were turned away by policeman and when they asked the policemen who was paying them to do that the policeman said they were off duty police officers employed by BP. I don't know if that's true or if the people are lying but the stinks worse than crude if it's the truth and I hope the US AG criminal investigation [washingtonpost.com] gets to the bottom of that.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Actually here is the NOTAM
        http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_2957.html#restrictions [faa.gov]
        Yep flight restrictions from surface to 3000 ft.
        But dudes that is what telephoto lenses are for.
        3000 ft isn't that bad of a restriction but it is still a restriction.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AGMW (594303)

        I heard on NPR that some people looking to investigate beaches were turned away by policeman and when they asked the policemen who was paying them to do that the policeman said they were off duty police officers employed by BP. I don't know if that's true ...

        ... but I'm going to spread the rumour anyway because it shows BP in a bad light and BP are the current people we love to hate.

        A friend of mine said BP wanted to use mashed up baby dolphins to try and plug the leak, but I don't know if it's true ...

    • by lwsimon (724555)
      I'm certainly no fan of Rachel Maddow, but I think she hit it on the head with the idea that BP is underestimating the spill amount minimize fines by the EPA.

      I don't really have a problem with that, actually, so long as they hold true to their promise to pay for cleanup and lost business for those whose livelihood they've disrupted.
      • The problem is that they're minimizing basically took a spill that apparently is puking out 12,000 to 20,000 barrels a day and claimed it was only 5,000 (we know now that they have it partially contained that the spill was at least over twice as much per day as they were claiming). They also, even as late as a week ago, were claiming that there was no evidence for vast plumes, and that too has been falsified.

        BP has pretty much lied about everything from the very beginning. I can't see at this point how th

  • by idontgno (624372) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:30AM (#32496414) Journal

    but this really isn't news. Money has a voice. More money has a louder voice. Lots of money can shout out all other voices.

    I hope the search providers enjoy their windfall. I hope the states, the Feds, and the individual victims of this disaster take careful note of how much money is being spent on non-productive spin control, rather than actually fixing the problem and cleaning up the aftermath.

  • The worst part of this oil spill is that you can't even boycott BP effectively without also boycotting the local gas station owner and the whole refinery chain. Say that this shady keyword purchasing damage control made you so upset that you went down and picketed the BP station in your neighborhood. Well, you might be affecting BP a little but you're having a much larger impact on the guy who owns that station. A huge impact if you're there all day appealing to people's empathy for the Gulf.

    What can I do? Write my senator demanding what exactly?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Perhaps demand your share of relief from this spill. This will have a ripple effect on the economy for years to some, and we will all be paying for it in some way or another.
    • by batquux (323697) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:36AM (#32496548)

      What can I do?

      Go to google, search for 'oil spill', and click on all the ads. Each click costs them money, and I'm sure they're bidding high for placement.

    • by clickety6 (141178)

      use less petrol/gas

      take public transport

      buy an electric car/hybrid

      get on your bike

      car share

      move closer to work

      use less petrol/gas

    • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:39AM (#32496604)
      You could ask the owner of the local gas station to switch to a new franchise. Most of those places are run like fast-food chains: Joe Citizen signs a multi-year renewable contract with the Company X in which he gets to use their branding, in exchange for buying gasoline from them and forking over some percentage of his revenue. Abandoning the contract early would probably cost the owner a great deal of money, though, and those guys are struggling enough as it is with the wild fluctuation in gas prices (the more it changes, the worse off they are). It would all depend on just how angry he was at BP.

      Not pretty, but convincing enough of them to switch would be the real way to harm BP. Just boycotting BP stations is pretty much useless.
    • by lwsimon (724555)
      How exactly is their buying keywords shady? They are leading the cleanup/damage control efforts, as it is their responsibility. They're doing everything they can to get information out, to the point of paying for keywords to point you to their updates.

      Say what you will about BP's operations, but their corporate communications seem to be top-notch. Those folks are doing all the right things.
    • The worst part of this oil spill is that you can't even boycott BP effectively without also boycotting the local gas station owner and the whole refinery chain. Say that this shady keyword purchasing damage control made you so upset that you went down and picketed the BP station in your neighborhood. Well, you might be affecting BP a little but you're having a much larger impact on the guy who owns that station. A huge impact if you're there all day appealing to people's empathy for the Gulf. What can I do? Write my senator demanding what exactly?

      I don't know what the BP stations look like in your area, but around here they're as dirty and sleazy as they get. I didn't like getting gas there before the spill.

    • Oh, come'on, what a lame argument. Your local gas station owner could always switch companies (especially if he's environmentally responsible). Also, he's probably a millionaire and can afford to lose some business. Finally, even if all of us "morally outraged" people quit buying BP gas, we're such a small segment of the overall population they'd only see a small dip in their profits anyways. Basically, you're demonstrating the classic example in psychology of a narcissistic personality, "If I stop buyi

      • by mea37 (1201159)

        "Oh, come'on, what a lame argument. Your local gas station owner could always switch companies (especially if he's environmentally responsible). Also, he's probably a millionaire and can afford to lose some business"

        You're missing the point: Oil is fungible and is traded several steps up the supply chain from you buying gas. You cannot affect demand for BP oil. When GP says you'll have a minimal impact on BP, he's wrong; in fact you'll have none at all.

        If your local station owner switched to a different

    • The worst part of this oil spill is that you can't even boycott BP effectively without also boycotting the local gas station owner and the whole refinery chain. Say that this shady keyword purchasing damage control made you so upset that you went down and picketed the BP station in your neighborhood. Well, you might be affecting BP a little but you're having a much larger impact on the guy who owns that station. A huge impact if you're there all day appealing to people's empathy for the Gulf.

      What can I do? Write my senator demanding what exactly?

      Actually, odds are that none of the gas you are buying at a BP station actually came from BP. The stuff all comes from the same local distributors who pass it back and forth like it's water. Local stations (none of which in the US are actually owned by BP) just pay for the right to use the name. To boycott BP you'd need to track their shipments in and out of places and then find out where things went. Unless the local distributors boycott BP (not likely) there isn't anything you'll be able to do as a c

    • Tell your senator that you want more transportation options besides automobiles.

    • by Iyonesco (1482555)

      Why boycott BP? Do you think the other oil companies would do anything differently? Do you think "I'll buy from those nice ExxonMobil people because they care far more about the environment than profit"?

      It's a bit like boycotting a particular hard disk manufacturer because one of your drives failed. The exact same thing would happen with any other manufacturer so there's no point boycotting one when they're all the same.

      That is, of course, unless we're talking bout Samsung. They really do make the most

  • by Psiren (6145) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:31AM (#32496434)

    Suddenly I'm proud to be British. God save the Queen!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by lennier1 (264730)

      Where's The Doctor when you need him?

      • Time can be rewritten. He'll come back. Fix deepwater horizon, prevent the disaster and then none of this thread would have ever existed. I just wonder if my mod points would survive the change :)

      • by Mercano (826132)
        Taking Amy to art galleries, apparently.
  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:32AM (#32496446) Homepage Journal

    @BPGlobalPR

    By the way, we made it so if you google image search "oil spill" or "bp" you'll see some great celeb sideboob pics. #bpcares

    Ah, the fun we poke.

  • I follow BP on twitter @BPGlobalPR to quench my thirst for oil spill info. Their latest tweet:

    By the way, we made it so if you google image search "oil spill" or "bp" you'll see some great celeb sideboob pics. #bpcares

  • BP - "One of the World Leaders in Oil Spills and Public Relations Damage Control"

    Have you spilled oil today? Our P.R. team can help!

  • by localman57 (1340533) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:33AM (#32496484)
    So let me get this straight... I can go to Google, type in "oil spill" then click on one of BP's sponsored links. And in the act of doing this, I can magically transfer money, real money, from a company that fucked up the environment to one that gives me free software like Chrome, and Google Earth, and Android?

    Hell yeah!

    • by RivenAleem (1590553) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:39AM (#32496594)

      Now what we need is a press release from Google saying that all revenue generated from the BP add goes towards helping clean the spillage.

      Then we can just sit back while BP goes bankrupt (though I suspect there's an upper limit to the cost of the add...)

    • by RKThoadan (89437)

      I've tried to get a sponsored link a few times just to do this and I can't get one. Where's my advertising?!

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:34AM (#32496502) Homepage

    I guess if you can't plug your spill, the least you can do is try to clog the flow of information.

    Related: http://digg.com/comedy/Massive_Flow_Of_Bull****_Continues_To_Gush_From_BP [digg.com]

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:34AM (#32496510)
    One is to:

    www.BP.com/OilSpillNews [bp.com] "Info about the Gulf of Mexico Spill Learn More about How BP is Helping."

    The other is:

    Tar Ball Burner(tm) [sandman.com] "Collect free tar balls from beaches and turn them into unleaded gas!"

    Please slashdot both of them.
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      OMG lol.

      You almost had me, then I saw this on the side of the page almost at the bottom:

      Almost every home in Tokyo uses an Electronic Bidet to spray water at their butt.

      Why don't we?

      As if that weren't enough, right after it there's an ad for an $800 Ethernet tap...

  • Ha, jokes on them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by harris s newman (714436) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:35AM (#32496524)
    Wait till they declare a profit this quarter. The whole country will draw and quarter them.
  • by mea37 (1201159) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @11:38AM (#32496580)

    Relax, dude, I'm pretty sure we can all find plenty of things to blame BP for without pretending that buying keyword impressions is somehow harmful.

    Go google "oil spill". Sure enough, the top sponsored link will be the BP oil spill site. The other sponsored link will be... yet another partison point of view from someone who was willing to pay to get a message out. That's what sponsored links are.

    Right below them - right where they always are - you still find the real search results. How that squares with the flow of information being "clogged" is beyond me.

    I'd find more to complain about if BP wasn't trying to present a strong media presence. You know, saying "I'd like my life back" or something like that.

  • For any company with an extra $40B lying around, a takeover of BP while trumpeting "We will fix this collosal disaster because BP can't!" would be a PR goldmine. Use BP's equipment and personel to keep working on the spill, then reap the massive profits that the company will continue to make after this mess is all but forgotten by society's collective ADHD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644)

      The only problem is that there's no good solution here. BP's people aren't the only ones trying to stop the leak, you've got engineers from all of the big companies working on this. They all see the damage that this spill is doing to their industry and want it stopped. The point is that nobody knows how to stop this, short of relief wells. There's already a ton of uncertainty about how much oil has leaked, how much more is going to leak, what's going to happen to all that oil under the water, what happens w

  • Cause I have a mouse, here, and I could click it a LOT.

  • Hmmmm, a story combining the ever-inflammatory idea of censorship with the, 'greatest environmental disaster of our time,' delivered right to our internet front-door here on slashdot. I have my money on more than 400 comments in the first 4 hours.

    This should be fun. =)

    /popcorn
  • Completely BS writeup of the article. This is a straightforward and common tactic used by companies in situations like this. Yes, with all the band-wagoning and rhetoric surrounding the issue its not even a bad idea. The spill is obviously a tragedy of incredible proportions, which invites entirely too much disinformation, half truth and anecdotal evidence. No matter what BP did here they would be crucified for either having no strategy, or (like the poster did) assuming the strategy was a CYA move. Everyo
    • The spill is obviously a tragedy of incredible proportions, which invites entirely too much disinformation, half truth and anecdotal evidence

      Like "it's only leaking 5,000 barrels a day" or "there is no evidence for oil plumes".

      Oh wait, that was BP. What were you saying about disinformation, half truth and anecdotal evidence?

  • I don't think Google and Yahoo need the money from the devastation BP has caused. There are so many better uses for that money than public spin. Do I really care if my oil for my gasoline comes from BP or some one else? No! I go to the gas station and fill up. BP has no PR issue with the public at large, they have a economic and environment issue they have to address. In the end BP is now hunched over the same oil barrel they profited from and Uncle Sam has the lube out and the politician line is forming in
  • Yes, if you search for "oil spill" in google, there is a single sponsored link (and identified as such) before the search results. About 6 results down, there are image results with oil covered birds and such. Is it news that one of the most profitable companies in the world is spending a relatively piddly amount on damage control? It's not as if they are buying out search engines.
  • Search for "Oil Spill" and then click on the ad, then close the browser...

  • Personally I thought it was great as it made it nice and easy for me to find their ROV camera page which I love. So what's the problem here?
  • they've been under estimating the leaking oil, telling us things are progressing fine and then telling us they failed, etc etc so I hope this bit about them purchasing search terms is not a surprise. They, like Exxon before them, plan on surviving this and moving on with business of making billions in profit every year from oil sales. They might have to change their name in the US though because the Gulf is not Alaska and it's likely that this could spread up the easter seaboard too. All area which are fa
  • by unjedai (966274) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @12:40PM (#32497618)
    So BP is spending their money on ads for a relevant search term and when you click on the ad you are lead to information on what they are doing with the oil spill. And we're supposed to be angry at them for doing this? Huh? Maybe their info is bogus or they should be providing more info. Maybe they have totally botched the oil spill. But it would make more sense to me if people were outraged if they DIDN'T buy ads that lead people to information.

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