The Right Strategy for BP’s Oil Leak Problems: Less Talk, More Action

Bird rescued by BP

Every time someone from BP opened their mouth to talk about the oil leak problems in the Gulf of Mexico, they only caused damage to the BP brand. The unseen, and unforeseen effects on BP’s future (and not only) can be summarized in President Obama’s words:

“For too long, for a decade or more, there’s been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill,” Obama said, referring to the Minerals Management Service. “It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.

The President lashed out at the BP (BP.L), Halliburton (HAL.N) and Transocean Ltd. (RIG.N) executives over their response to the spill that is a threatening ecological calamity on the U.S. Gulf Coast:

“You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else. The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn’t.”

Sure, this is a matter that concerns the whole world, but let’s not discuss semantics. At least, Obama’s appeal seems to have some resonance with BP. The company’s engineers are attempting to stem the oil gushing from a pipe at the bottom of the ocean with an insertion device.

BP is working in an area on the sea floor a mile below the surface to try to move the 6-inch tube into the 21-inch riser pipe. BP plans to attempt to draw the oil up to a tanker floating on the surface, – MarketWatch reports.

“We hope to begin operations overnight,” – BP executive Doug Suttles said. “What took you so long?” – should be the media response.

The next smart thing to do would be to put BP boss Tony Hayward in the middle of the action, at work, among the workers. He’d be better in this role than that of a speaker. Lead by example, as they say. Well, enough with the free PR advice. That’s Brunswick’s job.


  1. says

    Christine, the Dutch government and several other European countries DID offer help, but it’s the US government that took so long to accept it. I saw press reports from as far back as May 10th that the Europeans were waiting for reactions on their offers for help. That’s three weeks ago. Now finally they are under way because they got the green light.

  2. Al. Ewen says


    Have you tried the funnel likn approach in solving the oill leak. Well, I have been watching every step that you have made and all your failed efforts. But don’t worry.The only think about all the efforts is that they are a little bit too mucha profesional taken to solve the problem. And while they look too much a profesional approach,they were not properly calculated.

    Now here is my simplistic aproach in solving the problem. I have spent almost two days in my back yard working with my garden hose, and did I find the solution? Yes.
    I would urge you to contact me at the e-mail address stated so that I can outline my formula. And if it doesn’t work, then nothing else will until the fountain runs dry. And that in my opinion will perhaps take another 50 years depending on a number of factors.

  3. Christine says

    Maybe the Dutch Government should offer to help instead of waiting for someone to ask. Knowing you have the resources to help and sitting waiting is just as bad as not asking. The US Government is constantly offering to help other nations even as Brandstofcel noted but who offers to help? Also BP is a British Company, since you Europeans seem to have everything figured out maybe they should have been more prepared for such a disaster. Or maybe they shouldn’t of cut corners and regulations. Even taking some responsibility for their actions instead of finger pointing the blame towards everyone else. “It wasn’t our accident, but we are absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and that’s what we intend to do.” – BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. Hey I got a great idea why don’t the Dutch talk to Tony Hayward….could be genius.

  4. says

    Over here in The Netherlands, the slow reaction of the US government, and their apparent lack of willingness to contract foreign specialists for the cleanup, is also criticized. This seems a PR fiasco to me also. First, in the 2003 report, paid for by the Pentagon, it was described how The Netherlands could be affected by climate change through floods. The reaction with many Dutchman was: who do they think they are to tell us about flood protection? Two years later Katrina struck New Orleans, a disaster Dutch specialists had been warning for for years on end. But even after Katrina very few Dutch specialists were hired by the US government to prevent future problems. And now, Dutch media show reports about a Dutch companies that claim to have a fleet of cleanup vehicles that is far more modern then anything the US possesses, is ready to go, but is waiting for orders. As far as I’m concerned, “Less Talk, More Action” also goes for the US government.

    • Mihaela Lica says

      Very good point! They were very fast in criticizing BP, but they are not being any more useful either. :)

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