Days after financial services giant Morgan Stanley informed print publications that its ads must be automatically pulled from any edition containing "objectionable editorial coverage," global energy giant BP has adopted a similar press strategy.
According to a copy of a memo on the letterhead of BP's media-buying agency, WPP Group's MindShare, the global marketer has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward negative editorial coverage. The memo cites a new BP policy document entitled "2005 BP Corporate-RFP" that demands that ad-accepting publications inform BP in advance of any news text or visuals they plan to publish that directly mention the company, a competitor or the oil-and-energy industry.
Gotta jes' love that freedom of the press...
So once again, we have the oil industry thinking that they have the God-given right to determine what is best for the rest of us. It was bad enough when Dickless Cheney allowed the energy industry to set the Chimpistration's energy policy (there's an oxymoron!). It was worse when Halliburton overcharged the taxpayers for services allegedly delivered to our brave (but badly misled) servicemen and servicewomen overseas.
Now they're saying, "If your magazine says anything nasty about us or our friends, we're gonna pull the advertising you need to survive."
They are demanding the right to censor the American press.
Sad thing is, the Bushistas will probably let them get away with it.