Archive for the ‘Green’ Category

One Year Later: BP Still Hasn’t Learned Ethics

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 3 Comments

Communications from BP in recent weeks claim the oil company has reversed the damage from the Deep Horizon oil spill, both environmentally and economically. This communications effort flies in the face of factual reality of dead wildlife, decimated fishing careers, and the ongoing economic hardship felt throughout the Gulf region. The unfactual, dishonest communications campaign once again demonstrates BP’s lack of ethical integrity. Worse, it is occurring as the globe moves to celebrate Earth Day this Friday, adding insult to injury.

Last year throughout the oil spill, BP consistently lied to the public about its actions and the damages sustained by the Gulf. The transgressions were in direct conflict with basic communications ethics, and represented one of the worst cover-ups in modern history. It demonstrated BP’s true lack of corporate citizenship, and a willingness to through entire ecologies under the bus all in the name of shareholder value.

Complicit in its lack of action, the Obama Administration only brought pressure to bear on BP after significant public anger was expressed. It took the likes of @BPGlobalPR on Twitter lampooning BP’s slimy communications and citizen journalists showing the damages on closed public (and policed) beaches, to inspire the incredible amounts of negative media pressure.

The ensuing call to the carpet caused bumbling yachtsman and BP America CEO Tony Hayward to step down from his job. It cost BP $20 billion is damages before a single liability trial began. It caused a leadership shake-up in the EPA’s Mines Minerals Service. All for naught.

One year later, the Gulf still suffers. BP is still lying through its public teeth, more worried about its public image than doing the right thing. And the Obama Administration claims to be holding BP accountable, whistling in the dark about what may really happen as the 2012 election looms.

It has been and remains evident that the only thing that can help the Gulf is us. Citizen action (see this current Ushahidi map) alone can help because the responsible parties simply won’t. If you want to help the Gulf, this Earth Day please consider donating to the Surfrider Foundation or the Ocean Conservancy.

What do you think about BP and the Obama Administration one year after Deep Horizon?

Loathing Groupon for Thrusting the Truth Upon Us

Posted on: February 11th, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 30 Comments

Much has been said about Groupon‘s questionable ads that ran during the Super Bowl. It’s reached a point that Groupon pulled the ads and CEO Andrew Mason apologized for making people feel bad. Yet, little has been said about why the ads invoked such visceral reactions other than change maker Stacey Monk’s spot-on reflection. Frankly, we hated Groupon’s ads because they showed Americans our true nature.

Specifically, the United States as a country gives nonprofits a lot of lip service, but when push comes to shove, we fail to change. Consider all of the talk about environmentalism, yet America still consumes more than any country in the world. We fail to act, and though we emote, our collective actions as a society are demonstrative of a deeper apathy.

Groupon thrust our hypocrisy into our faces, and we responded with wrath. We eat Tibetan food, instead of taking action for Tibet, or a Brazilian wax instead of helping the rain forest, or a ticket to a water amusement park instead of helping to save the whales. Think about it. We talk mindfulness while we walk vain consumption.

“We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn’t come through,” said Mason. “I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads… To those who were offended, I feel terrible that we made you feel bad.”

Staceytweet

Were the ads well executed? To create this kind of visceral reaction, the ads hit home harder than anyone at Groupon or their agency imagined. The joke fell flat, and the message felt like a punch in the gut. In that sense, yes, the ads were in poor taste. But the message remains.

The blogodrama should end with Groupon’s apology and pulling of the ads. Now it’s time for the crowd to look deeply within to understand why it became so enraged. Compassion means more than idle conversations.

Side Note

Kudos to Chrysler and Eminem for an incredible advertisement that reinvigorated spirit into Detroit, an economically ravaged city. Some Super Bowl ads do hit the mark.