BP currently is spending millions in advertising during the international rush to London for the 2012 Olympic games, including a massive wraparound, marquee-style billboard featuring athletes bursting out the BP "sun" logo, alongside the slogan "Fuelling the Future." (The double "L" is their spelling.)
Yesterday, that billboard and other ads and surfaces throughout the city were vandalized — slapped with a "To Go BP Free in 2012" sticker or, in the billboard's case, smothered in "oil."
Stuffed sea animals covered in oil and placed outside the Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and Royal Opera House. Signs and ads in the London Underground were sprayed with black "oil," and BP "sun" signs outside petrol stations were also hit.
Spraypainted on the billboard was a URL for F—ing the Future, which documented the campaign and answers the question "Why shouldn't BP sponsor the Olympics?"
The website also published a press release in the wake of the ad sabotage. Activist Brendan Pierce said, "BP is paying tens of millions of pounds to clean up its tarnished image, in what could well be the most expensive use of propaganda in history. ... But with even its own business projections preparing for a six degree temperature rise, BP knows it is damning us to a future of runaway climate change.”
The press release cites BP's mishandling of the Gulf Oil Disaster as a motivating factor, as well as the recent results from an online marketing research survey that said 38 percent of respondents feel BP is "getting better at working towards a cleaner planet." F—ing the Future's response:
BP is deeply embedded in British society — our energy, our pensions, our investments, our culture. … It pumps serious money and effort into keeping things this way. Marketing works. Shiny advertisements around the capital do change the way people perceive a company. By sponsoring activities like the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival, the World Shakespeare Festival and the Games themselves, BP is able to continue its catastrophic, though increasingly profitable, operations. That’s why we had to act.