BP pwned

May 27, 2010

As if British Petroleum didn’t have enough to worry about with the Gulf oil spill, a fake Twitter account making fun of BP’s public relations efforts is rapidly gaining popularity online. The account, BPGlobalPR, was created late last week and now has over 50,000 followers, more than 10 times the number following the real BP Twitter account.

BP’s actual Twitter account tweets links to videos and articles about the company’s efforts, volunteer activities and other BP material in an attempt to rectify this slick situation. The fake account, however, offers more humorous content in a satirical format.

Here are a few of my favorite tweets so far:

  • The ocean looks just a bit slimmer today. Dressing it in black really did the trick!
  • Proud to announce that BP will be sponsoring the New Orleans Blues Festival this summer w/special tribute to Muddy Waters.
  • Oh man, this whole time we’ve been trying to stop SEAWATER from gushing into our OIL. Stupid Terry was holding the diagram upside down.
  • Eating at a very expensive restaurant and spilled salad dressing on my pants. Not sure how to tackle this.
  • People are really out to get us. I haven’t seen the public attack somebody this unfairly since poor Jay Leno had to move his timeslot.
  • A bird just stole my sandwich! You deserve everything you get, nature!!!

BP has done a poor job handling this crisis from a public relations standpoint. Their social media doesn’t offer anything close to a human touch. Instead it regurgitates what a response organization, Unified Command, puts out. It almost seems BP is hiding behind Unified Command. By appearing more human and offering a personal side to their clean-up efforts, BP may have been able to mitigate the public outcry — or at least prevent so much interest in a fake Twitter account.

I look forward to BP’s response to this Twitter activity. I appreciate BPGlobalPR’s fundamental effort – exploiting poor crisis communications on BP’s behalf – but this is brand impersonation in the purest form, even if it is satire. I sadly predict it will be removed very soon.