Many people are certainly angry at BP. The Facebook Boycott BP page had 350,000 followers in early June and is now up to 825,000 people. BPGlobalPR, an adbusting on Twitter, has more than 186,000 followers. In New Orleans, there were many anti-BP t-shirts. British people we met in New Orleans were hiding their accent. William Wilson from Lincoln, England said this:
Soon after the spill, BP began strategizing about a major ad campaign to convince the public that BP “will get this done” and “make it right”. They have invested more than $50 million in their message. Down in the Gulf there is also a lot of media access to the places BP would like media to be. Is all this communication paying off?
A look at BP stock shows that their share price was up even before the cap was in place:
Do people hate BP? Yes. Does it matter? It must. Most CEOs believe that corporate brand reputation outranks financial performance as the most important measure of a company’s success. But this ideal is not necessarily mirrored by investors, particularly the batch of people (and there are many) who have recently invested in BP. To them, the potential of profit trumps public sentiment.