BP is buying Google PPC ads as part of its online reputation management plan - it's obviously desperate to cap the gallons of bad publicity that are pumping out into the news ocean.
It's a nice idea, but it seems to have been executed with an automaton with no idea about tone ...
If you search for oil spill, Google (in the UK) is currently showing news stories at the top of the results, followed by real-time results, which are mostly tweets being rude about BP.
The easiest way to get your message on top of all this is to buy an ad, which is what BP has done. Here it is (thanks to Sonia Rothwell for the tipoff):
If you click on it, however, you go to this page - which appears to have been written by a robot versed in corporate speak.
Here's the page.
And here's the first story.
BP Announces First Payment on Barrier Islands Project for State of Louisiana. As part of the previously announced commitment to fund the entire $360 million cost of six berms in the Louisiana barrier islands project, BP today announced that it will make an immediate payment of $60 million to the State of Louisiana. In a letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and as previously announced, BP detailed its plans to make payments in stages based on the project's completion milestones.
Apart from the being the world's longest sentence, does this sound like a human talking to anyone? It's all very well having pictures of birds being cleaned up - but I'm not sure most people who click on the advert are going to go hang around on a page that makes no attempt to talk to them in normal language.
And when the link text says "Read the full press release", it makes it feel like they're just regurgitating corporate communications.
I think they need some tips from the spoof BP Twitter account.