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If you’re not monitoring Twitter, you’re going to get nailed

Someone is running a fake Twitter account claiming to be the BP global PR team. It uses the BP logo. It’s rude, funny, and embarrassing to BP.

And it has 20,000 followers. (BP’s real twitter account has fewer than 5,000 followers)

BP could shut this down with one email to Twitter on trademark grounds.

This is PR 101, folks, not some teenage fad.


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  1. Shelley Ryan May 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Hey, Andy!

    Your point is absolutely solid… but I’m hoping Twitter keeps this account alive. It’s too damned funny! And it’s good to have a reason to laugh, especially when the situation looks so grim right now.

  2. Justin May 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Great Catch Andy! Looks like this is actually part of a fundraiser for The streetgiant guys seem to be behind the twitter account – look here

  3. AJ Wilcox May 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    It appears as though this was the true account for BP and it got hijacked. I think BP is being smart about it – it has gained SO many more followers than it had before. After that supreme growth, they can reclaim the account and just have a wider reach. Not a complete fail, imo.

  4. Geoff Livingston May 27, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    I’ll give BP credit on Not shutting this one down. The resulting PR disaster for BP would be epic, because every green and political blogger on earth would rathcet it up even one more notch on BP for their horrific lack of transparency and command and control PR. No, focusing on the oil spill, and not policing the account is the right thing to do.

  5. Julie May 27, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Absolutely agree with Geoff. People will find ways to express their frustration and stay one step ahead. Shutting it down just makes BP look even worse, and as Geoff side, would be focusing on entirely the wrong thing. Perhaps BP could take a cue from its imposters and try being a little more interactive and a little less one-sided–see it as an opportunity to have a conversation. There’s a reason why the unsanctioned account now has nine times its number of followers…

  6. Andy Sernovitz May 27, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    BP could not possibly look any worse, so there not really much risk of further PR damage.

    But removing deceptive social media accounts is one of the most basic steps. I wouldn’t recommend that a company attack or attempt to block critics or parodies. This is different — this is a case of someone representing themselves as an official site, with a misleading @name and using the company logo.

  7. Pat May 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm #


    This is “obviously” a parody account:

    1) BP logo in black dripping oil
    2) tweets like:
    “We are very sorry, but due to an increased amount of accidental immolations, all beach volleyball tournaments are now non-smoking. #bpcares”

    BP has enough problems looking like they are trying to cover up the disaster.

    Shutting down will just confirm that BP is just trying to cover up the problem.

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