BP continues to spill oil and credibility

Bp BP continues to get hammered for the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The
spill, which is on its way to becoming the worst in U.S. history, has
irreparably harmed the company's carefully cultivated image of
environmental responsibility. Louisiana and federal officials in the
U.S. have described the company's cleanup efforts as being 'not
adequate'. No kidding.


Rather than taking responsibility for the disaster, BP
Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward has tried to position BP as being
among a group of organizations fighting a common enemy (the spill). Some
could argue that this was a bit of clever positioning, but in the end,
it risks making the company's executives look like weasels trying to
avoid a mess they helped to create.


Hayward also channeled Winston Churchill in a recent
interview, saying, "We are determined to fight this spill on all fronts,
in the deep waters of the gulf, in the shallow waters and, should it
be necessary, on the shore."


The Churchill-esque quote just seems a bit contrived
for such a serious environmental catastrophe, especially since the
company has admitted it lacks the resources to stop the leak and clean
up the mess.


Thanks to its lacklustre efforts (both in the water and
in the media), the company's market cap has plummeted by more than $25
billion since the spill began more than two weeks ago. And the oil
continues to flow...