Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Long-term PR Problem 

Just as the Exxon Valdez caused multi-decade problems for Alaska, BP's Deepwater Horizon well in the Caribbean has left a wide bed of gunk on the ocean floor.  The damage might not be visible but it is there on the seabed where marine creatures can ingest it to what effect is unknown.  This means that for decades, BP will be defending itself in the court of public opinion.  Every time a new study comes out, the image of the burning, tilting platform will recur along with black lakes tarring the shores of multiple states.  There isn't much BP can do about it.  The damage is done and whether it is permanent or not is a question that will keep scientists busy for years.  How does a company come back from such a devastating accident.  BP in advertising has tried to rejoin the Gulf Coast community with testimony from its workers, but it also has lashed back at those who would take advantage of its restitution money.  The company has adopted a "moving on" stance that seems hollow given the damage, but what choice does it have?  It does the company and the public no good to continue wallowing in the accident and its aftermath.


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