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BP ad campaign hoax kicks off the Fortnight of Shame

April 1, 2010

BP halts launch of ‘Back to Black’ ad campaign

April 1st 2010
For immediate release

BP’s award-winning ‘beyond petroleum’ brand took a hit today when its PR agency attempted to deliver 22,000 revamped BP logos to the company’s headquarters in St. James’ Square.

In a costly case of mistaken brand identity, the ad agency misinterpreted the brief they were given to come up with a new logo that took account of BP’s decision to invest in the Canadian tar sands (1), and launched the multi-million pound ‘Back to Black’ campaign.Hang on a second.

What day is it? April Fools Day, a day for pranks both silly and serious. So here’s what really happened: Posing as representatives of a PR company, climate campaigners played an April Fools Day prank on BP today by delivering 22,000 new logos – one for every BP logo in the UK – to the company’s HQ.

The campaigners, from Rising Tide and the UK Tar Sands Network (2), piled boxes of ‘Back to Black’ logos on BP’s doorstep and installed a matching sign on the building in protest at the company’s reversal of its decision
to stay out of Canada’s controversial tar sands (3).

“BP’s ‘beyond petroleum’ brand was never more than a slick charade. BP’s plans to move into the tar sands reveal the company’s true colours, and they are black, not green. So we’re here today to present BP with a logo
that’s more fitting for a company about to invest in the most destructive project on the planet”, said Tony Wilson of London Rising Tide.

The stunt marks the launch of two weeks of protest against the company ahead of its AGM on 15th April, where shareholders will vote on resolutions challenging BP’s plans to invest in the tar sands (4).

“The Fortnight of Shame, as we’re calling it, will see actions taking place up and down the country, all with a common message. Extraction in the Canadian tar sands is fuelling climate chaos and trampling indigenous rights, and British citizens won’t let BP go into the tar sands without a fight,” said Alice Hargreaves of the UK Tar Sands Network.

The action is also part of Fossil Fools Day, an international day of action against the fossil fuel industry (5).

Contacts for interviews / photos / more information:
07708 794 665


Notes for Editors

1. Canada’s tar sands are spread out over 54,000 square miles of pristine forest in northern Alberta – an area the size of England and Wales combined – and represent the second largest source of proven oil reserves
in the world. Producing crude oil from the tar sands generates up to five times more carbon dioxide than conventional drilling. Tar sands extraction has extremely adverse health consequences for locally affected
communities, and causes deforestation, ecosystem damage and wildlife loss. Canadian First Nations communities have already begun legal proceedings citing breaches of indigenous treaty rights.

2. In 2007, BP reversed its 1999 sell-off of its tar sands holdings by entering a partnership with Husky Energy to develop the Sunrise Project.

3. Rising Tide takes creative direct action against the root causes of climate change and for climate justice. The UK Tar Sands Network is the UK campaign to shut down the tar sands.

4. The BP Fortnight of Shame (April 1 – 15 2010) is a call to action from the UK Tar Sands Network, Rising Tide, the Camp for Climate Action and the Indigenous Environmental Network to pressure BP to reverse their plans to move into Canada’s tar sands. It runs between the Fossil Fools day on April 1st and BP’s Annual General Meeting on April 15th. At the AGM, shareholders will be voting on resolutions which challenge BP’s decision to invest in the tar sands. During the fortnight, grassroots groups across the UK and around the world will be taking action in solidarity with First Nations communities in Canada

5. Fossil Fools Day is an annual international day of action against the fossil fuel industry called by the international Rising Tide network.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Abbie permalink
    April 7, 2010 8:18 pm

    Can I just say – ABSOLUTELY FUCKING ACE!! Since watching Dirty Oil, the film put together by Co- Op and DogWoof, I’ve been shaken into the reality of how dirty BP is and how hell bent on profit regardless of public or planetary damage they are. This is a brilliant idea and how much more suitable a logo!!
    Did you guys send any of the leaflets through to CEOs etc of the company? Do you know what happened to all thoses leaflets? It’s a lot of paper.

  2. Trevor permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:28 pm

    there should be a campaign to stick those ‘Back to Black’ logos at every BP station!


  1. fossil fools day in Norwich – tar sand protest at Natwest « my year in Norwich
  2. “BP ad campaign hoax kicks off the Fortnight of Shame” « Climate Justice Links
  3. Our local Fossil Fools Day | Toban Black

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