Louisiana newspaper hops on the anti-BP bandwagon


The New Orleans Times-Picayune found a reason to mention BP’s recent advertising budget when criticizing the company. And it added that the company should be working to restore the state’s seafood industry, and that it could start by funding a five-year “seafood certification and marketing” program with an opening pricetag of $173M.

The state is particularly concerned with testing that proves Gulf of Mexico seafood harvested by its fishing fleet is safe for human consumption. And the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) wants BP to fund it. However, federal studies have already shown that it’s safe, so the state is also requesting a strong marketing effort to make sure that the word gets out to the rest of the nation.

Here’s NOT-P’s reference to BP’s marketing over the past four months: “BP is working hard to repair the damage to its own brand. Now it needs to put up the money to repair Louisiana’s brand. A $4 billion industry and the livelihoods of thousands of fishers, seafood market owners and restaurateurs depend upon it.”

RBR-TVBR observation: This proposal starts with a five-year term and leaves the possibility of additional funding requests open depending on the situation after that time period. It will take a long time to repair all of the environmental and collateral damage done by Deepwater Horizon, meaning that BP’s public relations nightmare appears to have long-term legs.

Until local economies have completely bounced back – an event which is already compromised by a generally weak economy, every penny spent by BP on an ad about BP is going to be begrudged by every politician from Fort Myers to New Orleans.