bp criticised for big spend on “green” social media ads

The energy giant has allegedly spent more than £800,000 on social media ads showing the company’s investments in low carbon technologies

Big Zero Report 2022

bp has been slammed over big spending on social media ads that showcase the company’s investments in green energy.

The Guardian reported that the energy company has spent more than £800,000 on social media ads, with £570,000 alone spent on Facebook and Instagram ads within a period of eight days.

The campaign describes bp’s intention to invest up to £18 billion in the UK’s energy system this decade, including offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging and North Sea oil and gas.

Doug Parr, Chief Scientist for Greenpeace UK, said: “What these ads intend to do is create a clean, warm glow around the companies concerned, giving them more social licence to operate – to the extent that they are being given a massive tax break in the government’s windfall tax to continue drilling for even more fossil fuels.

“It’s time major social media platforms rejected ads from fossil fuel companies, and our government got a proper regime together to stop greenwashing.”

A few days ago, bp received fierce criticism after it reported underlying profits of $8.45 billion (£6.9bn) for the second quarter of the year. 

A spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, told ELN: “We require all advertisers running ads about social issues, including those about environmental topics to include a ‘paid for by’ disclaimer.

“Our enforcement is not perfect, but we’re always working to strengthen and improve our processes.”

A bp spokesperson told ELN: “The UK is a microcosm of our strategy and we are investing heavily here. Our adverts highlight the specifics, range and scale of the things we plan to do here – including offshore wind, North Sea oil and gas, hydrogen and carbon capture, and EV charging.”

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