In an early post on this blog, I expressed some qualified admiration for the nuanced way BP approached the energy/environment discussion when its corporate campaign launched around 4 years ago.
Reading that post now, with BP trying to suppress pictures of dead animals and denying the sub-surface plumes clearly visible from space, I want to throw up.
But it’s not about me and my gullibility, is it? Let’s shift the discussion and think about someone with much bigger problems than mine. Let’s think about the person who has to write the ads running now.
Let’s imagine that it’s a guy (for no good reason other than to pick a pronoun).
He’s in his mid-30s, a Group Creative Director somewhere (they wouldn’t give this to a junior creative). He lives in Park Slope. He and his wife belong to a food cooperative. The only car in his life is a hybrid and has a Zip logo on it.
He thinks BP is a bunch of lying, Earth-despoiling wankers. But he needs this job.
Painfully, letter by gut-wrenching letter, he types out the words
We will get it done. We will make this right.
He stares at what he’s written. He looks at his fingers, at the keyboard. He is a marionette. He is a cockroach. He is only following orders.
His art director pops his head in. “Make sure it fits on 2 lines” he says.