By The Drum Team, Editorial

July 2, 2011 | 2 min read

The oil giant is back in the TV ad business with a new 30-second Olympics spot and, with the Gulf oil spill in mind, America gets to comment

Needless to say the ad is not running in the US, where the oil giant had its biggest trouncing ever over last year's oil spill. But that hasn't stopped US magazine Ad Age keeping its readers /viewers in the loop, running the ad on their web site and asking, "What do you think?"

The ad features BP’s sponsored athletes from the Olympics and Paralympics and stresses BP’s commitment to "fuels of the future". The strapline is : "London 2012 fuelling the future."

Ad Age says, in what appears to be a compliment, that the ad is less "green-washy" than the company's efforts from earlier in the decade.

"For instance, the word "oil" is actually mentioned in the spot in the context of something that is used in automobiles rather than something the company is so totally over as it embraces solar power and unicorns."

The first comment to Ad Age came from Robert Paltos of New Jersey and was supportive of the British company. Of BP going back on TV, he wrote, "And why not! BP is one of the world's largest companies... marketing to every corner of audience and related product group.

"Millions of industrial and personal consumers still buy BP product brand groups... alone. Because of a disastrous calamity to our environment, does that by nature suggest the company cease operations... cease marketing... cease to exist? Ask that question of the millions of people who are employed either directly or indirectly by BP. I think not!"

BP thought people were in the mood to listen to a message about the Olympics, according to Duncan Blake, BP's director of brand who says: " I'm confident people will see BP in a positive way."

The American mag concedes that the Olympics ad is a feel-good effort tied to a feel-good event and adds that "feel-good" could also describe the company's YouTube page, which is dedicated to showing that the U.S. Gulf Coast region has recovered from the spill. Have a look:

Olympics Bp

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