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BP releases apology ad: phony or heartfelt?

BP releases apology ad: phony or heartfelt?

Posting in Government

BP released an ad yesterday, showing its CEO, Tony Hayward, issuing an apology.

BP released an ad yesterday, showing its CEO, Tony Hayward, issuing an apology. Speaking directly into the camera, Hayward thanks the government, pledges to do everything in the company's power to clean up the spill, and apologizes to all affected.

But BP has been under attack from all sides, and Hayward has been responsible for several PR gaffes. At one point, he downplayed the impact of the spill because the gulf "is a very big ocean." Later, in response to media attacks, seemingly forgetting that eleven crew members died on the rig, he said, "You know, I'd like my life back."

BP has also been under attack from new media in ways the company could never have expected. There have been minor outcries that the company is restricting journalists and photographers from investigating the spill. Perhaps that's why truly damning photos of the spill's effects, close up, have been slow in coming.

But today, AP photographer Charlie Riedel published the most horrifying images yet, close-up shots of seabirds coated in oil. The photos are front-page news--BP's apology ad is not.

The grassroots campaign has been just as damaging. Yesterday, a man claiming to be behind the @BPGlobalPR series of cutting, satirical tweets posted an article outlining his outrage.

So what do you all think? Will this ad have any effect?

Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP

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Dan Nosowitz

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Dan Nosowitz has written for Popular Science, Fast Company and Gizmodo. He holds a degree from McGill University in Canada. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure