Damage Control

BP Buys Oil-Related Search Terms

Google "oil spill." Notice the highlighted result at the top of the page? In a PR move likely designed to boost its crumbling image, BP has purchased several search terms on Google and Yahoo. Now those who troll for information on the Gulf of Mexico disaster will see a link to BP’s official website at the top of the results page. "Learn More About How BP Is Helping" reads one result. Company spokesperson Toby Odone confirmed the purchases with ABC News, insisting that it was "to make it easier for people to find out more about our efforts in the Gulf and make it easier for people to find key links to information on filing claims, reporting oil on the beach and signing up to volunteer." Some marketing experts question the company’s motives, however, acknowledging that it’s a clever PR strategy. "If you look at it from BP's perspective, it's a brilliant move," said Kevin Ryan, CEO of Motivity Marketing. "The other option BP had was to just… let the news interpret what's going on.”