Here’s a lesson for companies developing clean technology solutions: if you’re advertising how green you are, make sure your business is eco-friendly across the board. Someone should have told that to BP, which gets the smack down from Advertising Age this morning for pushing a green ad campaign on one hand, while receiving a permit to dump more toxic discharges into Lake Michigan.
“Mainly the matter drew attention to the cardinal sin of touting an environmentally conscious image in marketing—the central focus of BP’s advertising for the past several years—and failing to live up to the message. — Advertising Age
That’s just not good PR. (And neither is making green ad campaigns that go way over the line, Shell.) BP has started to put a lot of money into renewable energy initiatives — and advertising — including a planned investment of $500 million over 10 years in a new Energy Biosciences Institute. Laudable in part, but why give critics any kind of ammunition to shoot holes in your carefully orchestrated green image? Smaller tech companies and startups, take note.