Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

The Man Behind @BPGlobalPR Speaks (Maybe) on His Motives and How Pranking Fuels Charity

BP cares logo

An article written by a man purporting to be the founder of the @BPGlobalPR Twitter account, which under the guise of being a BP representative skewers the oil company's response to its own Gulf oil spill, has been making the rounds today. Let's first get this out in the open: the man uses a pseudonym, and just a few days ago CNET was embroiled in a mini-scandal in which they mistakenly identified the writer. There's no particular reason to trust this account, but I personally do. The tone of the article matches the tone of the Twitter account, and certain facts match with what I've heard secondhand (that it's a group of people writing the posts, for example).

That being said, let's get into it. The article is just as ruthless and cutting as you'd expect (the word "pickledick" is used, to frankly delightful effect; I fully plan to steal that word and sequester it for later use), both toward BP and toward the marketing and PR folk that have missed the point of @BPGlobalPR. Example:

I've read a bunch of articles and blogs about this whole situation by publicists and marketing folk wondering what BP should do to save their brand from @BPGlobalPR. First of all, who cares? Second of all, what kind of business are you in? I'm trashing a company that is literally trashing the ocean, and these idiots are trying to figure out how to protect that company? One pickledick actually suggested that BP approach me and try to incorporate me into their actual PR outreach. That has got to be the dumbest, most head-up-the-ass solution anyone could possibly offer.

Do you want to know what BP should do about me? Do you want to know what their PR strategy should be? They should fire everyone in their joke of a PR department, starting with all-star Anne Womack-Kolto and focus on actually fixing the problems at hand. Honestly, Cheney's publicist? That's too easy.

Interestingly, he notes that he and his fellow writers have not taken in any money from the runaway popularity of the account; instead, any money he's taken in through merchandise has been donated.

BP seems to only care about maintaining their image so they can keep making money, two things we have blatantly avoided. I don't have an image and I'm not making any money AT ALL for myself. Every penny we make from the t-shirts goes to the Gulf Restoration Network. Just a few hours ago, we made our first official $10,000 donation to from the money we've made selling free "bp cares" t-shirts in one week.

The piece as a whole functions more as an explanation for those who, in the author's view, missed the point of the tweets (like the aforementioned PR folk). "I can't believe I have to explain this," he seems to be saying.

You can check out the whole piece here at StreetGiant.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in San Francisco (no link for that one—you'll have to do the legwork yourself).