Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BP (NYSE:BP) Paying for Florida Commercials Saying They Aren't Affected by Oil Spill

In one of the more bizarre shakedowns I've seen and heard of, Florida pressured and got from BP (NYSE:BP), $25 million, in order to advertise that the state hasn't been harmed by the oil spill. Unbelievable that BP caved on this one.

Think of it. Florida hasn't had any negative effects from the oil spill, so now BP is responsible to pay for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to put out ads declaring that!

What BP should have thought of first was the effects of the recession and gas prices on tourism before allowing themselves to be pressured into this strange payout.

Tourism has been down for several years, and more than likely will continue this year. For the industry to use the figures they did, saying the drop in Florida tourism business was about 30 percent so far, and then tying that into the oil spill - while being creative - was ugly and taking advantage of the situation to get some more money to advertise their state to the nation at a time when state budgets everywhere are low on money.

Florida has now began their ad campaign at the expense of BP, and are getting the word out that the company has done nothing to harm their state. Why not have Minnesota shake down BP in order to say the same thing? Or any other state for that matter.

Maybe I'm dumb or something. But isn't there something wrong with the picture of a company paying a state for something that had absolutely no impact upon them but one the made up and created?

They can use any numbers they want. Let them prove their assertions though, and they'll come up way short. Let's go over the last couple of years to see how the Florida tourism industry was doing in order to see if they numbers hold up. I doubt very much that they would.

BP responded to this to eliminate a minor headache and publicity, but paying $25 million for doing nothing to someone is one of the more strange things I've seen in my lifetime.

These companies need to get a little more backbone than they have, and realize people are using the shock factor to extract things out of them they don't need to pay.

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