In a world of waning corporate accountability to both stockholders and the people who buy their products, we tend to find ourselves up the creek without a paddle. This happens when problems arise regarding either the products we buy or the effects they may have on our health using them. At one time only the shareholders of companies were held as the final jury on corrupt mangers or on those who would put profit above safety. The sleeping tiger in all of this commerce is the consumer, who has awakened; and for now is very upset.
Case in point; not only has BP’s stock taken a dive, but sales of their products are seeing a hit across the board. How long this could go on is anyone’s guess, but at least it is a pleasant reminder of who has the real power over corporations. Not government, but the consumer. Unfortunately as long as the general public gets all its information from the lighted tube in their living room, it won’t be long before BP’s image goes from being one reminiscent of a bad, spewing negligent oil company to that of a benevolent benefactor, curing all that was wrong and promising never to be so bad again. .
As you read this, hired Madison Avenue PR firms are readying to make it all sound not so bad; the birds drenched in oil, tar balls on the beach, large plumes of oil afire in the Gulf, the BP executives relaxing boat ride last weekend and those endless pictures of that pipe spewing oil! Yes, six months from now the boat ride will be a sad PR nightmare footnote about executive stupidity. But the real damage control of making this spill look not nearly as bad as it really is will be a creative test of efforts.
Helping BP of course will be the short attention span of the American public. I can see Lewis Black making fun of us now. “Here boy, come to Daddy. He has another cookie, forget that oil on your paws, jump boy, boy jump!”
When you search the BP spill crisis already, you will unexpectedly find good news on what is being done regarding the cleanup. Unbeknownst to you, the company has bought Google space that leads you to their best-designed efforts to keep the beaches clean and contain the spill from the marshes.
Adding to this, we also will soon be seeing all the reports that tell us that maybe, just maybe things weren’t as bad as we thought. I’ve already seen reports that are trying to put the spill in its, “proper perspective”. You call this an environmental disaster? Hey, you should have seen the dust bowl of the 1930’s! Now that was a disaster. Big Spill? Not really when you compare it to the amount of water flowing into the Gulf out of the Mississippi river in an hour. For sure that water is pretty polluted too.
The liberal media will get tagged for blowing it all out of proportion by the conservative side of the aisle. And given the Fantasy News Networks growing audience that means a lot of people would agree. Not sure the people who make their living collecting your fresh seafood would agree. But give them time; they may all be working for BP pretty soon. From what I hear according to BP’s own PR machine, they have a great benefits package!
More to come…