I was a bit reluctant to write this post because the BP story has been covered ad nauseum.  But then I discovered two things.  First, a quick Twitter Search shows that people are still talking about it passionately.  And second, very few people have tried to offer solutions to help fix the company.

To date, BP has spent approximately $93 Million telling us what they are doing to “Make this Right” with TV ads, a new website, and even Google Adwords.  In my unofficial estimation, this is $93 Million being pissed down the toilet.  I don’t know a single person who believes anything those ads say.

Here’s how I would begin to fix BP beyond the “Fire the CEO” rhetoric:

Invest in Clean-Up Technology

No where have I read is BP looking to invest in Clean-Up technology for the long term.  How about creating a “Clean – Up” division, complete with a VP whose sole goal is to improve the technology that exists today (which by all accounts is the same technology used in the Exxon Valdez spill)?

Chances are, this wouldn’t be a profitable venture, and it would be expensive.  But in the long run, it just seems like the right thing to do.  For a company struggling to find good graces in one of the largest markets in the world, it’s a start.

By the way, if a commitment like this was made, they wouldn’t need advertising.  The main stream media and blogosphere alike would cover it for free.

Invest in the Region’s Economy

We don’t need to see another ad.  Most of us can already remember them by heart.  Instead, BP should spend $93 Million giving US residence a 1 week vacation – paying for the room and air fare.  Seriously.

This tactic will accomplish two things.
1.  It’ll do far more in the way of getting back into the good graces of the American people than the current media spend.  Seriously, who doesn’t want a free vacation?  Even if it is from BP?

2.  It’ll help revitalize the economy.  These vacationers need to eat when the travel.  They also need to find things to do.  All of which costs money.  Assume the average family of four spends $1000 for the entire vacation, you can multiply that by 50,000 families and that becomes a signicant number.  Couple that with the millions of dollars BP would shell out in transportation and hospitality fees, this would bring close to $120 Million of additional revenue into the region.  Money much better spent than on advertisements.

Let others do the talking for you

The reason BP should take unconventional measures like this is so that they get people, other than their own spin doctors talking about them in a positive light.  We find cynic in their ads, but truth in the nightly news report.  They need to use this truth to their advantage.

If all else fails, cut the price at the pump in half.  That might work too.

What would you do?