BP: 2010’s Most Irresponsible Corporate Citizen


In its continuing Deep Horizon crisis communications effort, BP now claims that it acted in a fully responsible manner. With a horrid combination of PR statements and ads, the oil company tries to maintain its dignity citing flawed efforts (we tried!). Instead BP has destroyed any remaining trust the public had in the organization.

This company has quickly become 2010’s worst corporate citizen, and it will be hard for anyone to beat them in the year’s remaining seven months (much less the decade). As the bard said, the company doth protest too much. Let’s look at what the mounting evidence reveals:

BP claims responsibility. The ethical failure in its actions cannot be dubbed socially responsible. Far from it. These corporate executives are demonstrative of some of the worst villainous behavior we have seen in decades.

The federal government maintains it has its boot on BP’s neck. It’s clear that since Obama has become personally involved — one month after the fact — the federal government is acting more responsibly, suspending further off shore drilling, etc. However, it’s not enough. It’s time to take the guillotine to BP’s neck, and file criminal proceedings against some of the world’s most despicable corporate citizens.

25 Replies to “BP: 2010’s Most Irresponsible Corporate Citizen”

  1. Geoff,

    Thanks for a powerful post that cites real data and puts this entire crisis in perspective. Hard to believe that there is anyone that, after reading your post, won’t be alarmed and pay closer attention to this issue.

    I salute you for taking the time to write this thoughtful piece.

  2. Watching this story unfold is frustrating, heartbreaking and points to just how helpless we are. In a big weather disaster, we know Red Cross and other orgs will be there and that we as individuals can donate or volunteer to help recovery efforts.

    But in this situation, what can the individual do? Are there any clear paths people could take to help? I’ve heard of donating hair or a small mention of an oil relief fund, but wouldn’t feel confident a donation would really help this situation. The lack of constructive avenues for our concern will only continue to fuel the collective frustration, especially as the news worsens.

    Maybe the best thing that can happen for future policy is to let the outrage continue to mount. Thanks for adding a little more fuel to the fire.

  3. Sara: I would argue that BP is responsible for cleaning up, but the frustrating thing is now citizens are left wondering if they will, and how we can help. It’s unfortunate that BP’s lack of responsibility in the situation has created the need for citizen action, but I think it’s a good point to. So next week, will do a little write up on SM ways people can help out.

  4. Geoff,

    I am appreciating your “citizen reporting” of this issue, all of your links and comments have been very helpful as frankly, I can’t bear to watch the TV coverage or do much more than look at the pix. It is too depressing.

    I’d like to know which lame PR firm is responsible for aiding BP. Too often we let the flacks get off the hook. I see this all the time in my biz: competing against firms that have one or two “socially responsible” clients, while the rest are “the bad guys”…like BP, tobacco, formaldehyde, BPA, chemical lobby, et al…

    Marketing, communications, and PR professionals have an ethical duty to ask the tough questions INTERNALLY before “a line” is sold to the public.

  5. And I would say Lynne, that given the times we are in and the popularity of the term, the lawyers and the PR/Marketing folks are collaborating to protect BP and it’s image…just wish the company would put as much effort into protecting the planet! However, you and Geoff give me hope that there are some good people willing to stand up and shout from the roof tops when this stuff happens. Thank you!

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