Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, British Petroleum (BP) has provided an ample buffet of bungling and disinformation, but the latest assertion of corporate wrongdoing doesn’t pass the smell test.
Today’s angle is that BP is trying to redirect people searching for information on the oil disaster to its own Web site.
The Examiner leads the pitchfork brigade with today’s story:
In their most tenacious effort to control the ‘spin’ on the worst oil spill disaster in the history, BP has purchased top internet search engine words so they can re-direct people away from real news on the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
BP spokesman Toby Odone confirmed to ABC News that the oil giant had in fact bought internet search terms. So now when someone searches the words ‘oil spill’, on the internet, the top link will re-direct them to BP’s official company website.
But all BP is buying is the “sponsored link” at the top of its search results, a box most people ignore anyway.
“Most companies that are smart are buying relevant search terms to increase their visibility on the Internet,” Terry Heymeyer, who teaches crisis management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management told CNN. “As long as they are providing factual and timely information in a transparent way and doing interviews with other media sources as well, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be buying search terms.”