BR Video: Public view BP spill as 'unfortunate' but not worth boycott
LONDON - The public's attitude to BP in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is forgiving rather than rancorous, according to people interviewed in the latest BR Video.
The oil company recently suspended pan-European marketing activity as it continues its attempts to stop its well leaking and clean up the US's southern coast.
It has been criticised by the US government, while a small but significant proportion of UK consumers have said they were less likely to buy BP products.
We asked people whether the spill has changed how they feel about BP, and also how likely they were to avoid filling up their car at a BP petrol station.
An explosion and fire on a drilling rig on April 20 left 11 workers missing and presumed dead. The rig sank two days later about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.
The majority view was that BP had suffered an "unfortunate" accident that was part and parcel of oil exploration.
"There's going to be a disaster every now and again. It's just unfortunate it's a British company and it's BP," said 49-year old writer Mark. "If I needed petrol and BP was the nearest station I'd fill up there."
"It could happen to any fuel company," was the view of 37-year old Rachael, who said she'd still visit BP. "I don't necessarily think it was BP's fault."
There was strong criticism for the company from 33-year old James. "They could have done a hell of a lot better job. I don't know why it took so long. I don't understand why they don't have contingency plans. I think they've done their reputation no good at all."
However, he didn't stay to say whether he would avoid BP petrol stations.
There was a more nuanced view from Barbara, a 49 year old executive assistant.
"Obviously it's concerning. It seems to have taken quite a while [to sort things out]."
Asked whether she would avoid BP petrol stations, she admitted to being typically human. "You might feel strongly about something but when it comes down to it convenience prevails. I think I would but I'm not sure I would go completely out of my way to do it. It does make a bit of an impact - it's quite important for us to take responsibility."
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