BP buys “oil spill” adwords

Embattled oil giant BP has bought search terms and adwords specific to their oil spill for search engines like Google and Yahoo to improve their image in the wake of the worst oil spill in US history.

When users search terms such as ‘oil spill’, ‘claim’ or ‘volunteer’, BP will rank high or even at the top of the list of advertisements that appear next to the searches.

When people click through to the BP website, they are hit with the “Gulf of Mexico response” page, which gives regular updates on the disaster.

The company has come under fire for the PR move and is being accused of trying to draw away hits from sites that paint them in a negative light.

“We know people are looking for those terms on our website and we’re just trying to make it easier for them to get directly to those terms,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

US president Barack Obama recently criticised the company for spending $50 million (AUS$60 million) on television advertising during the crisis to recover its reputation.

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