In terms of squandering money, rappers make it rain, the military keeps wars in play and BP buys their reputation.
In an obvious act of desperation (and genius move), BP bought the term “BP Oil Spill” from the Google, Yahoo, and Bing search engines to redirect traffic to their official website.
BP confirmed that they purchased the search terms, following a wave of bad press during the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP spokesman Toby Odone told ABC News that the company “bought search terms on search engines like Google 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.” [Via]
As expected, their homepage is bursting with pictures of the non-stop efforts of their employees, working diligently around the clock to save the Gulf of Mexico. Just this past Tuesday, they claim “a total of approximately 15,000 barrels of oil were collected and 29.4 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.”
But now they’re saying Americans may shoulder some of the costs from this ginormous muckup. I’m guessing more than oil will spill should some of the more radical types get riled up enough.
Costs for the cleanup and associated liabilities faced by BP have been conservatively estimated at up to $20 billion, which will, presumably, be tax deductible. The United States tax code requires corporations to pay 35 percent of their profits in income tax. However, most multinationals have an effective tax rate of far less than 35 percent, with the average rate being closer to 20 percent. They are able to lower their taxes by the use of accounting practices such as accelerated depreciation, tax credits, stock options, offshore sheltering, transfer pricing and other techniques, all of which are perfectly legal. [Via]
Exactly the type of news the general public needs as they endure the final stages of the country’s recession. If BP gas stations provide the fireworks for this upcoming 4th of July, dare we act surprised?