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Friday, April 25, 2014

Strategic CSR - BP

Here are some excerpts from a full-page ad that BP ran in The New York Times recently:
“Immediately following the Deepwater Horizon accident, BP committed to restore the environment and help people affected by the spill recover as soon as possible. We waived the statutory liability cap, mounted an unprecedented cleanup, and began paying claims within days.”
“Nearly four years later, we’ve spent more than $26 billion. $12 billion of that has gone to paying hundreds of thousands of claims. Over the last two years, most claims have been paid through a settlement agreement designed to compensate the remaining people and businesses with financial losses due to the spill. Unfortunately, that agreement has been implemented in a way that encourages people to exploit it.”
BP has been running a long campaign to try and correct the fraud it sees being committed (at its expense) in relation to the payoffs from the fund:
“Over the last several months, we’ve shared with you a few of the most outrageous cases of exploitation and other abuse. Exaggerated, even fictitious claims. Fraud within the Settlement Program. And the firing or resignation of senior Settlement Program officials due to misconduct.”
In this ad, they attempt to broaden the implications beyond their own resources and question how this miscarriage might affect the way that companies in the future react to PR crises:
“What choice will other companies make when faced with the next industrial accident, product defect, or data security breach?”
“Will they accept responsibility and do the right thing?”
“Or will the lesson be that it’s better to deny, delay, and litigate – with victims potentially waiting decades for compensation?”
Here is the title of the ad:
“We’ve tried to do the right thing. Will other companies be discouraged from doing the same?”
Have a good weekend
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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