BP boycotts limited in effectiveness, warns scholarFrustrated by the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some people across the country have pledged to stop buying gas from BP stations.
By: Kirk Carapezza, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Frustrated by the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some people across the country have pledged to stop buying gas from BP stations.
Websites like “BoycottBP.org” have popped up, encouraging Americans to join the effort. One Facebook group has over 360,000 followers.
However, Thomas O’Guinn, a UW Madison marketing professor and research fellow at the Center for Brand and Product Management, disagrees with that approach. O’Guinn says because most stations are owned and operated by local residents, this boycott hits the wrong target.
“To punish some poor guy’s gas station because this big transnational company screwed up really isn’t fair and it’s just not going to have much impact on the parent company,” he says.
O’Guinn says gas station owners make most of their money selling snacks and other concessions. He says if people really want to influence BP’s fortunes, they should write their congressmen because an issue this large requires regulatory change.