Today House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bart Stupak released findings on how much BP has spent on advertising since the oil disaster to Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) who prompted the probe.
Among the findings:
Between April 2010 and July 2010, BP spent more than $93 million on advertising. That equates to an average of $5 million a week.
That is triple the amount the company spent on advertising during the same time frame in 2009.
Castor’s office sent out the information in a news release:
Upon learning that BP has spent more than $93 million in advertising between April and July, Castor said: “BP’s extensive advertising campaign that is solely focused on polishing its corporate image in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon blowout disaster is making people angry. As small businesses, fishermen, and mom and pop motels, hotels and restaurants struggle to make ends meet, they are bombarded by BP’s corporate marketing largess day after day. BP should be doing more to address the damage to the Gulf Coast tourism industry, fishing industry, and for researchers and for the taxpayers.
“While BP’s advertising campaign ramped up, businesses and the Gulf communities struggled to deal with the costs of the disaster. While BP’s advertising campaign is being executed like clockwork, business and state claims have languished. While BP certainly has the right to advertise, its approach has been insensitive to the taxpayers and business owners harmed by the Deepwater Horizon blowout. BP should use a significant portion of its advertising dollars to ease the strain on Florida small businesses that rely on tourism. Some of the focus should be devoted to marketing and advertising to promote the beautiful, pristine beaches of Florida and give a boost to our struggling tourism economy.”
Castor also referred to Conde Nast, University of Central Florida, U.S. Travel Association and other economic impact studies that have shown the economic impact of the BP oil disaster to tourism and the state’s overall economy is projected to be in the billions of dollars.
The letter to Rep. Castor, below: