Perception Management FAIL
Students in schools and universities cannot fathom why many teachers and professors prohibit the use of online information repositories like Wikipedia. The young consider it "old-fashioned" and silly when told of prohibitions on the use of open search engines to collect citations for term and research papers. In my own classes, I try to explain the multiple dimensions in which Wikipedia is fundamentally flawed as a resource for academic-quality research; and now, with BP flagrantly and rather shamelessly paying Google and Yahoo, I have yet another means by which to demonstrate the essential flaw in using open-access Internet search engines.
BP is carrying out what, for its interests, are rational measures to improve its tarnished image: it is spending money to shape "facts" as many people who think they are tech-savvy think facts can be gathered.
The downside can be fun, though. YouTube, a service of Google, is taking money from BP to put ads on videos. Below is a screen shot from a video I was watching. My search term to get to this video was "fail," given that I was looking for a specific clip of an incident where a very long line of bicyclists in some kind of race began to have multiple accidents along the chain. (The way the accident proceeded is an excellent example of how a failure at some point in a chain can lead to clusters of accidents instead of a single, "domino effect" collapse of the chain).
Anyway, there at the bottom of the video I was watching was an ad bought and paid for by BP offering me the highly desirable opportunity to "Friend BP on YouTube":
Yes, BP is so craven for friends that it will pay serious money to ask for friends on a video about the "Biggest ever fails."
The company that has arguably executed the biggest fail ever is so hard up to force its narrative on the public that it will position its brand name anywhere and everywhere, including right smack on a video about the biggest fails ever.
By the way, nothing on that particular fail video was even in the same universe as what BP has done (and is continuing to do every day). Ultimately, even though the video itself didn't include the biggest fail ever, the ad on top of the video did, so the title of the video, "Biggest fails ever," was accurate.
So much for BP's efforts to shape the narrative.
The company should have stuck with its partnership with the government to keep journalists and independent scientists away from the site of the gusher. Now, there's money well spent.