Though all of South Africa's World Cup stadiums will be powered by generators full of
fuel, BP advertising has quieted down since its
World Cup sponsorship
was announced in 2008. Content to have placards for its Castrol product scroll by during matches, BP made a much bigger World Cup push as recently as last year.
The company's BP Africa branch is one of the World Cup's
and produced World Cup preview ads in 2009 that were not only funny, but regionally relevant in highlighting some of the funnier disparities between segments of South African society.
Mamas vs. cafe owners:
Cab drivers vs. divas:
The spots actually won awards for
, but aren't doing much for the company's image now that millions of gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico on a daily basis. With President Obama railing against an alleged $50 million in image-conscious ad spending by BP, a U.S. World Cup audience wooed by more-fun sponsor spots from
have been stuck with woeful and wrongheaded apologies like this:
BP's World Cup stint was fun when all was well, but the company may be best served by taking its ball and going home for the next few weeks.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.
>>BP Watch: Day 57
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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.