Why Slacktivism Works (RE: The BP Boycott)

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December 20, 2020 uncategorized

Boycott Petroleum

When proclaiming a boycott of BP, the common rhetoric seems to be that you’re only hurting the families that own the franchise stations (and not the evil corporation). Brand association is a powerful thing for better or worse, and despite the baseless droning that protest only hurts the innocents in this case, new data is showing otherwise.

BP stations nationwide have reported a large decline in sales since the spill (some in excess of 40%), which has prompted BP to respond by offering its distributors cash, reductions in credit card fees and bolstering their national advertising. In addition, they have been paying for their stations to run these campaigns:

While it may hurt the “small business owner”, taking a stand as a consumer does make a difference in the grand scheme of things, and may even force BP to rethink their business model by forcing its retail presence into stasis. Consumers also boycotted Exxon stations after the 1989 spill in Alaska, and while the company ignored it publicly, Exxon has now “reduced its dependence on consumer sales, and the company is much more dependent on business-to-business sales than it was 20 years ago.”

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