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Twitter spoof leads anti-BP campaign

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2010-06-03

BPGlobalPR, a satirical Twitter account parodying BP’s public relation efforts, has contributed $10,000 to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico. With more than 100,000 followers, the mock account has taken the lead of an anti-BP campaign on the Web.

A satirical Web user who has been slamming British oil major BP for weeks over the oil slick crisis has decided to put his online popularity to good use by donating 10,000 dollars (8165 euros) to Gulf Restoration Network, a non-profit conservation group.
 
Since its launch on May 19, the BPGlobalPR Twitter account has ridiculed BP’s management of the oil slick crisis, earning in the process 111,347 followers (and counting).
 
The account’s anonymous founder has announced the donation in a sarcastic tweet: “It's official. We were just forced to donate $10,000 to @healthygulf”. A representative from the conservation group contacted by France24.com confirmed the donation. Gulf Restoration Network’s chief, Aron Viles, said the person behind the mock BP account had also promised further donations.
 
BPGlobalPR said its donation proceeded from the sales of $25 T-shirts featuring the BP logo and the tagline “BP Cares” in dripping black ink reminiscent of crude oil. The person behind the mock account hasn’t revealed what percentage of his profits he donated to the conservation group.
 
Black humour
 
The fake Twitter account took the helm of online anti-BP protests wielding sharp black humour and corporate jargon poured out in 140-character-tweets, such as:  “Please do NOT take or clean any oil you find on the beach. That is the property of British Petroleum and we WILL sue you” or "If we had a dollar for every complaint about this oil spill, it wouldn't compare to our current fortune. Oil is a lucrative industry!"
 
The mock Twitter account also turned into a gateway to a whole community of anti-BP activists by promoting other websites that criticise the oil company. Despite its massive resources, the British giant seems to have lost the online PR battle: its official Twitter account has a mere 9,500 followers.
 

Date created : 2010-06-03

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