It occured to me the other day that it has been awhile since I’ve seen a non-BP “energy” company television ad.
Admittedly, I don’t actually watch much tv these days. That said, on the sporadic occasions when I have turned on the tube in the months since the Gulf spill, I’ve been bombarded with the faces of concerned BP engineers during every commercial break. But the thoughtful, trusty scientists of ExxonMobil…? *crickets*
That led me to ponder: Did the other oil companies pull their ads to avoid soiling their brand with the woes of competitor BP? If so, it makes sense.
In the minds of many consumers, the proverbial Oil Companies are all just variations on a theme. A disaster caused by one means guilt-by-association for the entire industry. It’s an interesting situation to consider, not only for the oil industry but for others as well – pharmaceuticals, food producers, auto manufacturers, etc.
If the ExxonMobil ads were pulled immediately, was it simply part of a strategic disaster plan that was triggered into action? Do other industry leaders have similar plans in place? If not, are they now in development? And how long will ExxonMobil wait before reinstituting its ad campaign?
Perhaps in the future, we’ll know the answers to these questions. For now, though, on a micro-level – what does this mean for your industry? What’s your plan if your competitor screws up in a big way? Are you prepared to ride out the storm?
*Image via Huffington Post