BP Trapped in ‘Advocacy for Hire’ Scheme
The Washington Post has an interesting story today on so-called “advocacy-for-hire,” in which, the Post says, “ideological groups wage stealth messaging campaigns with little disclosure of their funding or possible motives.” The lead example in the story is the Institute for Energy Research, a non-profit group with ties to the oil industry. It turns out, IER asked BP to pay $100,000 to a campaign defending the oil industry soon after the Gulf oil spill. When BP declined, the group turned on the company.
According to the Post:
Although BP took a pass, the group’s advocacy arm went ahead with a campaign — only instead of defending BP, it vilified the company as a “safety outlier” in an otherwise safe industry. The campaign’s Web site features dozens of images of the burning rig, oil-smeared birds and other environmental devastation from the spill.