The dirty energy company formerly known as British Petroleum has faced its fair share of scandals and embarrassment.
But BP CEO Bernard Looney is facing a new sticky situation no thanks to an unusual billboard campaign called OilyFans.
A new London billboard depicts Looney topless with two BP logos over his chest, alongside the text: “Bernard’s package is bulging (and so is your gas bill).”
.@bp_plc is making record profits while the rest of us struggle with a cost-of-living crisis. That's something we really aren't fans of.— Global Witness (@Global_Witness) July 21, 2023
So, meet #OilyFans https://t.co/lxApVXGoOu pic.twitter.com/oXerkJHZUc
The campaign, run by international human rights organization Global Witness, aims to draw attention to the fact that despite many people’s financial hardship brought on by skyrocketing energy prices, Looney’s salary doubled in 2022 to nearly $13 million.
What is the OilyFans campaign?
Mimicking the adult-content website OnlyFans’ logo and namesake, the campaign intends to expose and embarrass Looney for profiting off the financial well-being of “ordinary people” while decimating the health of the planet, Alice Harrison, a campaign leader at Global Witness, told The Guardian.
“BP’s CEO saw his pay packet bulge, while the rest of us were plunged into a deep and damaging cost-of-living crisis — that’s something we really aren’t fans of,” Harrison said.
“Although light-hearted in nature, our action today is intended to highlight the very serious issue of an energy system that pays out to polluters and penalizes ordinary people,” she added.
Global Witness acknowledged the unusual nature of its campaign but explained that it decided to move forward because it aims to “highlight the gross inequality at the heart of our energy system — that can see oil and gas CEOs rake in millions during a cost-of-living crisis sparked by eye-watering energy bills.”
What are people saying?
The billboard in question has gone viral, with commenters largely sharing their amusement at the expense of Looney, while the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority confirmed that it led to complaints.
The billboard also made its way to Reddit, where one user commented: “Who in their right mind is upset by this?”
Another joined in, saying: “I find it hilarious that they claim the complaints say the ad isn’t appropriate for children. … I’m sure if the complaints were made public, they’d be written by people on the BP payroll.”
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