Oil Gusher: BP Has Bought Newspaper Ads in 126 Markets Since Spill

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Seeking to calm the public furor over the Gulf oil disaster, BP bought newspaper ads in 126 markets in 17 states in the three months after the spill, according to information released Wednesday by the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman reported in a letter to the committee that between April 2010 and the end of July 2010, BP spent $93,429,175 on advertising, more than three times the amount the company spent on advertising during the same period in 2009.

“BP’s increased spending was almost entirely targeted at national and local newspapers and magazines and national and local television advertising,” Waxman wrote.

Waxman also detailed the newspaper spending:

“BP also indicated that it significantly expanded the markets in which it ran local newspaper advertisements during the 2010 period. From April to the end of July 2009, the company ran local market newspaper advertisements in two states and the District of Columbia. In that same period in the 2010, the company ran local newspaper advertisements in 126 markets in 17 states, including the states directly impacted by the oil spill — Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi — as well as California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Texas.”

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