Cross-posted from Treehugger.
You probably haven't seen many Amoco gas stations on the side of the road for a while. That's because BP merged with the 'American Oil Co.' in the 90s, the British company's logo and namesake took over. As a result, all Amoco stations were converted to BP stations, leaving Amoco stations nowhere to be found. But that could change very soon -- in a major rebranding effort launched to sidestep the bad reputation that's sprouted from having caused the biggest environmental catastrophe in US history, BP is considering renaming all of its stateside gas stations 'Amoco' -- or something else.
The AP reports
BP gas station owners across the country are divided over whether the oil giant stained by its handling of the Gulf spill should rebrand U.S. outlets as Amoco or another name as part of its effort to repair the company's badly damaged reputation.Some who have seen their sales plunge because of protests say BP has already sought a fresh start by naming an American to replace its gaffe-prone British CEO, so why not change the name on gas station marquees to Amoco, which once stood for American Oil Co.
BP gas station owners have reportedly seen their profits drop from 10-40% since the spill began, and many have only been kept afloat by cash sent directly from BP
. Boycotts, protests
, and general anger with and distrust of the brand have brought gas sales tumbling.
There's some resistance to the idea from certain parties in the company who feel that the BP brand will recover, and that supporting it now will pay off in the long run when it does.
There are 11,000 BP gas stations (and BP-owned subsidiaries like ARCO on the West Coast). Changing the name may help speed Americans' inclination to forget about the BP spill, but it obviously doesn't change any of the fundamentals behind the company's practices. Though most of those gas stations are independently owned and operated by citizens who arguably don't deserve to bear the brunt of such boycotts, it nonetheless would be a shame if BP succeeded in having its most public front to slither out of view.