But according to Rick Outzen, writing for The Daily Beast, this is part of a much bigger stealth "propaganda blitz" by the petroleum company. Citing unnamed sources in the oil industry, Outzen, publisher and editor of alternative Florida newsweekly the Independent News, writes:
The ground operatives in this propaganda blitz: locally-owned or affiliated companies -- mostly those that either supply or own the BP stations. Specifically, while BP has commandeered the state's tourism marketing, the oil giant wants it local marketers to buy ads, distribute flyers at their stations, hold customer appreciation days and use BP–supplied talking points to build a word-of-mouth campaign to "diffuse or deflect negative commentary" about the BP oil spill, according [to] sources inside the oil industry.
And the company is footing the entire bill for affiliates to do so. Some would call that stealthy. Then again, I'm sure plenty on this side of the industry would call that "crisis management." What do you think?