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back to article Leaked Google docs out top search ad spenders

Following its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP went from spending about $57,000 a month on Google search ads to an enormous $3.6m outlay for the month of June alone, according to a report citing internal Google documents. Documents obtained by Ad Age list BP as Google's sixth largest advertiser in June. Early that month, BP …

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Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Propaganda

Let us tell you what is really happening in the Gulf ... we have it under control, guyz, do not worry!

We are doing all we can!

Control of the masses!

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FAIL

They did show you what was really going on if you cared to look...

They even provided feeds from the ROVs that were down there watching and doing stuff. Free, 24-hours, online.

And I know it was real- I worked on the video/telemetry systems for (and helped design/build the successors of) one of the vehicles down there (the Subsea7 Hercules WROV), so I know what a bitch it would be to fake the video feed and HUD. To generate that amount of video with that level of realism (every frame is geotagged and timestamped so you'd have to have every other vehicle in there as well) would be harder than trying to fix the well.

Plus the DGPS system said the vessel it's launched from was in the right area to be doing this work.

This isn't some "we know best, bugger off!" government style operation- you could watch it being sorted (or not) in real time from anywhere in the world!

The propaganda was people like Obama suddenly calling them "British Petroleum" rather than BP (despite them being mainly American-owned), pressuring them to install a Yank as CEO and having blaming the whole thing on the people in the office a few thousand miles away rather than the demonstrably incompetent American parts of the GoM workforce.

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Grenade

Let's all be anon!

You tell them! BP hasn't been British Petroleum for almost a whole 12 years of its 101-year history. And because they're headquartered in London, 40% of the shareholders are in the UK and 39% in the US, and they use the British BP name more than the American Amoco name, you know that they're not british at all! Nosirree!

The wonderful things about ROV feeds is that they're out of context and scale. You don't NEED to fake the video, because nobody really can tell how large it is; it could be a pipe coming from the bathtub. Not at all like an entire supertanker, which you can give context. Pipes bubbling don't have the same impact as sinking an entire Exxon Valdez every week, despite the same amount going into the gulf.

Honestly, I don't care if this is US, UK, or whatever it's based. BP has had a history of corporate criminal negligence (not just the spill, but skimping on protections of the workers themselves), and I wish the execs involved faced jail time, despite knowing they'll all go off scott free with golden parachutes.

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Headmaster

Re: Let's all be anon

Ahem. It's "scot free". (But it's nothing to do with Scottish people either.)

I'll be on my way.

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Anonymous Coward

If you're slinging mud...

Well, at least BP didn't hire the CIA to topple a government of a foreign country so they could have their taxes lowered (and incidentally have a lot of natives killed by the replacement dictator). That wasn't even an oil company.

But don't let me stop you. For yeah verily, the oil those British Petroleum Executives dug out the very soil with their bare hands is filty, and do note that none of the other energy conglomerates have done anything bad, ever, especially not the wholesome entirely American ones, and America could stop guzzling gas any day, honest! We're not addicted!

Reality challenged much?

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Bronze badge

Ah, The Conspiracy Response

You were doing okay until you tried to blame Obama for common usage. "British Petroleum" is still commonly used in casual conversation - blame BP's marketing department for not getting "BP" the universally used moniker.

And continuing with your logic failure, just how does Pres. Obama's use of the old name make BP's actions *not* look like propaganda?

I give you that BP's actions *after* the disaster were competently done, but don't try to pretend that BP doesn't have an interest in making itself look good - that's just naive.

Tell me, do you also subscribe to the Navy Seal theory of the World Trade Center disaster?

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Stop

The problem with the usage of "British Petroleum"

... was that it shot up in the weeks after the spill. The stats are out there that hardly anyone in American politics or the media were calling it anything other than BP beforehand but afterwards many of them switched to it. That's a pretty compelling sign that they are doing so for propaganda purposes.

Fact is BP blundered by putting their British Chief Exec out to handle the press on this. You stick the US head of the US arm in front of the cameras and keep talking about the US based partners involved (*cough* Halliburton ffs) and you damp down a lot of the xenophobic demonising that went on.

But then the whole Gulf of Mexico thing was a total balls up all round - can't think of anyone involved in any capacity that came out of it looking at all good (although that Coast Guard admiral seemed reasonable, from what I saw of him).

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WTF?

Deepwater Horizon Ownership

25% Transocean - USA owned

10% Mitsui & Co - Japan owned

65% BP, of which:

26.0% (40% gross) UK

25.35% (39% gross) USA

6.5% (10% gross) Rest of Europe

4.55% (7% gross) Rest of World

2.6% (4% gross) Miscellaneous

TOTAL:

50.35% USA

26.00% UK

10.00% Japan

6.5% Non-UK Europe

4.55% Rest of World

2.6% Miscellaneous

"British Petroleum", yeah right Barack, you liar.

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Go

Nice revenue model

...each of these outfits accounted for less than one per cent of Google's US revenues in June, and together, the top ten advertisers listed in the documents accounted for just 5 per cent of total revenues...

Not like Mozilla's 91% dependence on Google. Far too many companies are far too much dependent on their top-line customers, harming themselves as well as other customers.

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Dependent on search, not google

Mozilla is actually dependent on search revenue rather than google per se.

Mozilla could certainly switch search provider and probably generate a similar amount of revenue. Indeed, the way MS have thrown money at Bing, they could possibly increase their revenue stream by switching.

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Thumb Up

inspired

I know this is a little off topic, but...

i really think Google's business model is inspired. I'd never really looked into it before, but i didn't imagine companies were investing so much money in adverts on google! Its amazing.

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Agreed

And great insight from Apple, they spend $1 Million advertising products, whereas AT&T spend over $8 Million advertising them for them also!

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Big Brother

Google the new Ministry of Truth.

We need to separate buying ad keyword advertising for a product (which is ok) with buying ad keywords to bias opinions about the rich and powerful towards more favourable versions of the news about the people with the money and power, which is most definitely bad. This does show that if you have enough money, (i.e. governments and any companies not just BP etc.) then Google do have the power to *bias* news to more often show the versions of the news which the people with money wish all of us to see more prominently and lets face it, all of us have limited time to invest in researching subjects, so due to these kinds of tactics we will tend on average to find links more favourable to the people buying the keywords. So we will get partial versions of the truth, more often what the people with the money want us to read.

Is that bad, well yes, it is biasing people towards links that are more favourable to the people with the money to bias what people read. Its more or less ok for advertising a product, but this isn't *just* being used to advertising a product, its being used to bias what people learn about subjects relating to the people with money. That is a very dangerous twist to society as the majority of people will only get to read links more biased in favour of the people with money to buy a way to bias opinions.

Google adwords *when used this way* act like 1984's "Memory hole" concept in the Ministry of Truth which was a way to push out of sight what the Ministry of Truth didn't want the vast majority of people to see, so they could then present only the version of the truth they wanted people to see.

So once again, so much for Google doublespeak of doing no evil, when really they have considerable power to do wrong.

It won't stop everyone learning the truth but as always the game in corporate and political circles is to bias the opinions of the majority of people, so more often, the minority who learn the truth are drowned out. That is very bad for society but its what we are getting. (Its also partly the reason why we are sliding into this ever more Orwellian nightmare, because the majority of society are not seeing enough of what is really going on). :(

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Megaphone

Read this link! Obey!

Pay no attention to the greenwash behind the curtains!

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Joke

Propaganda? Where's the conspiracy stuff?

Wasn't the oil leak engineered by the CIA in order to cover up the eutrophication in the Gulf that has been caused by runoff from excessive use of fertilisers and factory farming, with the aim of getting someone else to pay for remediation?

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Troll

Bing

What the article didn't mention is that the advertising for Bing only cost BP £9.99 because of the low amount of users

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Pirate

The truth

It has all been said on the Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/massive-flow-of-bullshit-continues-to-gush-from-bp,17564/

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Grenade

Algae - Si, Asphatum - No

Surely you greens that hate carbon will be overjoyed that BP -very green in their signage - has turned the entire Gulf into what will become a very large algae pond?

The Chesapeake and the Great Lakes are also scheduled for this marvelous green transformation. Each now have a Czar, as does the Gulf.

Algae costs about $2/bbl to refine. That is even cheaper than Venezuelan crude during the decades prior to Chavez.

You punks have demanded green - now you have it.

Stop yer bitchin...

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Grenade

Try spending time and money FIXING the damn problem

Shame they couldn't spend less time and money on their website and promoting themselves, and more time and money FIXING the damn problem.

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Anonymous Coward

get some perspective

so BP spent $3.6m on Google Ads. Big deal. It might have actually helped people affected to find out how to file a compensation claim against BP (forms and process are on their website).

They've already spent over $8 billion on fixing the well and cleanup so far, and set aside $20 billion for compensation.

Kick them if you want, but show me another company who's ever spent this much on cleaning up anything and compensating those affected.

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