Bp Marketing Problem After Oil Spill

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British Petroleum’s Marketing Problem
Florida International University
Summer 2011
Alex Del Veccio
Yudith Torres

BP Marketing Problem

In April 20th, 2010 one of the worst environmental natural disasters that were brought on by a men happened. We are talking about the British petroleum Oil spill on the Golf Coast. The disaster not only affected the plants, animals and people living in the area but also the image of the company. British Petroleum has been successful on creating a powerful brand image, being authentic to the core values of its business and building the goodwill of their customers, now BP is trying to save what is left after the disaster. The disaster leads to many angry people, including environmentalists, shareholders and the general public to create campaigns to bring down the company reputation. BP has been accused of 11 workers dead and 17, injured. The extent of the spill is about the size of Rhode Island, running across the northern Gulf of Mexico between the mouth of the Mississippi River and Florida. The spill runs wide, threatening the coastlines, and deep, traveling beneath about 5,000 feet of water and 13,000 feet under the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon well is leaking 5,000 barrels per day, shutting down fishing across the affected areas, damaging fragile habitats and putting animals in peril. BP was also accused of trying to silence the scientists that were studying the effects of the oil spill, not allowing publishing researches done for the company; this clause was expressed in their contacts. The entire situation has position BP with a bad corporate image in the entire world leading to customer to refuse buying its products. This crisis has result in a negative publicity, threatening the image of the company and having effects on people perception of the company and its products. BP has responded to the event, trying to diminish the severity of the contamination, in a desperate effort not to lose its social legitimacy and seen to being irresponsible and dishonest with the public.

These are a few of many pictures that were put out there by the media, making the problem even worse for British Petroleum, those images were directly associated with the corporation, death, contamination, social irresponsibility, unhappy people. BP has a huge problem, they need to make people to stop associating those images with its corporation and products, and recover its good name again.

Consumer Behavior Issues as a result of BP the oil spill

Consumer attitudes toward BP products were badly affected by the oil spill; there was not favorable opinion about the corporation resulting on the decline of consumer intentions to buy BP products. BP oil spill has impacted purchasing behavior, the spill rattled the company, causing the stock to lose about half its value and prompting Tony Hayward CEO to resign and be replaced by Bob Dudley, But the company was able to get the oil gusher stopped and has been paying to repair the damage to the local economy. The company is paying to cleanup an estimated of $20 billion, as a result the company temporarily suspending its dividend, in another blow to investors. The dividends were reinstated in February 2011. Despite the fact that many surveys has showed that people has no intention to boycott or switch from BP brand ( (Harrison) the consumer perception of the company was reflected on consumer willingness to invest on BP stocks, maybe because many of them were normative influenced altering their behavior to meet public opinion expectations.

Consumer awareness has shifted dramatically when there is a catastrophe related to a big corporation such as British Petroleum, consumers has jointed forces and organized protests to show their disgruntlement with the corporation and pressing them to take full responsibility for the disaster.

The oil spill has had effected no only on consumer attitudes towards BP products, but to other industries too....
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