If you google “oil spill”, you’ll find BP has paid Google to put a sponsored link to their “We’re helping, really” page at the top of the search results.
BP pays Google every time someone clicks on that link. What if a few million people go to Google and click on BP’s sponsored link a few times? The cost might actually exceed what BP will end up paying in penalties for the disaster they have caused. Sure, the money goes to Google, but who knows? Google might donate their windfall to the cleanup.
So search Google for “oil spill”, click on BP’s sponsored link, and extract a tiny bit of revenge. With apologies to Arlo:
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t listen. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t listen to either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people surfing in, clicking on the sponsored link and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day surfing in, clicking on the sponsored link and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.
And that’s what it is , the Make BP Pay Anti-Massacre Movement, and
all you got to do to join is click.
Share this message! Tell your friends, both real and virtual! Make BP pay!
The average cost per click for a sponsored link on the term “oil spill” is $1.47, per Google (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal?forceLegacy=true). BP is probably paying more to guarantee Position 1, above the search listings. But their page is also highly qualified to rank on “oil spill,” so it won’t be that much more. Let’s say $5.00.
BP’s maximum liability for the damage inflicted by the oil spill is $75,000,000 (source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06fob-wwln-t.html , and we can thank Congress for that golden parachute). 75 million divided by 5 = 15 million. So more than 15 million people will need to search for “oil spill” and click on this ad for BP to pay more than they’re legally liable for.
But! Google will not charge an advertiser for clicks it deems “fraudulent.” Someone who clicks on the same ad ten or fifteen times, for instance. So this needs to be 15 million different people.
So! 15 million people click. BP is out $75MM. Who gets that money? Two institutions: Google (who ran the ad) and the Brunswick Group, BP’s PR agency of record (http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/crisis_communications/bp_pr_gaffes_continue_to_get_media_attention_industry_execs_question_brunswick_group_163665.asp). Not the Gulf fishermen. Not the Florida beach resorts. Not the wildlife.
Don’t get me wrong – this is a better idea than voting, or protesting, or boycotting, or anything else that’s usually touted.
If for some reason this concept takes off and spreads around the intertubes, a few good things might happen.
The actual goal of this, besides bumping up my hit count, is to get people to think about that $75 million limit. You and I, if we screw up, can lose everything, but all BP can lose is a mere $75 mil, which is nothing to them. Once again, the system protects the big companies. If you’re going to take advantage of “free markets” (cough) to build an enormous economy-raping machine, you should have to assume the risks too. “Too big to fail”, my ass.
Secondarily, we might at least embarass BP into removing the link to their apologia when people are looking for news about the disaster.