BP brand positioning criticised by Shell

BP has been accused by rival energy giant Shell of presenting a dishonest brand position, which caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to become an even greater marketing crisis.

Greenpeace satirise 'Beyond Petroleum' at the site of the Gulf spill
Greenpeace satirise 'Beyond Petroleum' at the site of the Gulf spill

Bruno Motta, chairman at Shell Brand International, the company which owns intellectual property rights to the Shell brand, told delegates at the Brand Finance Forum conference that BP marketers were guilty of misleading consumers with the brand's 'Beyond Petroleum' positioning.

When asked directly about the Gulf of Mexico crisis, which may cost BP up to $20bn in compensation claims, Motta said: "For the last few years [BP] has repositioned in an interesting way. We should look into the DNA of the company and project an essence or truth – say what you are, even if it's not as appealing. It makes for a long-lasting brand."

An explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April caused hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil to leak into the Gulf of Mexico, causing what President Barack Obama described as the "worst environmental disaster" in US history.

Earlier this month, Bob Dudley took over from Tony Hayward as chief executive at BP. Hayward had been severely criticised in the US for his handling of the crisis.

Become a member of Campaign

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content