The company also harbors old skeletons regarding their safety record. Now it's all under the spotlight, and BP can't maintain its friendly image. Compared, for example, to how Exxon handled itself with the Valdez spill, BP's brand is tanking since the disaster. And Exxon is a company that never painted itself as particularly eco-friendly or progressive.
1. This isn't going away (Valdez oil -- from 1989 -- is still in Alaskan waters)
Exxon can't be said to have managed PR well after the Valdez spill. In 1989, the captain of the Valdez drunkenly ran the tanker aground in Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska, dumping 11 million gallons of crude into an extremely fragile cold-water ecosystem. Some of the oil is still there, still toxic.
Exxon made a great bad guy. The Valdez was their boat, crashed by their driver, and it spilled their crude. They distanced themselves during the cleanup. They said they were sorry, but they never said they were wrong. They seemed indifferent to the press.
But then, internally, the company buckled down and overhauled its safety standards. This proved extremely effective -- Exxon hasn't had a major incident since the Valdez. Now they're one of the safest companies in the industry.
"I think they've stayed focused on their core business," says David Takeuchi, CEO of Bedrock Brand Consultants, which has worked on branding for Chevron. "They never tried to say that they're an energy company; they are a true petroleum brand."
Exxon had funded an anti-climate-change think-tank called the Competitive Enterprise Institute until 2006. Recently, the company has publicly eased its anti-global warming stance, but they've never been environmentalists. Instead they did the most important thing: They stopped spilling oil.
See the rest at: http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/02/news/companies/bp_exxon_gulf_spill.fortune/index.htm
Sorry, not original answer. But it would help....