Waxman Wants to Know: How Much Has BP Spent on Ads?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Last month, I estimated that BP had spent at least $5.6 million on ads in major newspapers alone to promote its “recovery” efforts. That was as of June; the company has spent plenty more since then, and plenty on television and web ads, too. How much? Well, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants to know. He sent the BP America CEO Lamar McKay a letter this week demanding a detailed accounting of the oil giant’s ad buys.

Waxman demands that the company provide “a chart identifying the total amount spent on advertisements placed, published, or aired by, or on behalf of, BP” since the April 20 disaster—radio, TV, print, and web. The ads are still running in major papers (I saw one in the Sunday Washington Post last weekend).

I’ll be interested to see how much the company has forked out in promoting itself over the past four months. I’d guess $5.6 million is just a tiny slice.

Special Report: Check out our in-depth investigation of BP’s crimes in the Gulf, “BP’s Deep Secrets.”

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate