Waxman Wants to Know: How Much Has BP Spent on Ads?

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Last month, I estimated that BP had spent at least $5.6 million on ads in major newspapers alone to promote its “recovery” efforts. That was as of June; the company has spent plenty more since then, and plenty on television and web ads, too. How much? Well, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants to know. He sent the BP America CEO Lamar McKay a letter this week demanding a detailed accounting of the oil giant’s ad buys.

Waxman demands that the company provide “a chart identifying the total amount spent on advertisements placed, published, or aired by, or on behalf of, BP” since the April 20 disaster—radio, TV, print, and web. The ads are still running in major papers (I saw one in the Sunday Washington Post last weekend).

I’ll be interested to see how much the company has forked out in promoting itself over the past four months. I’d guess $5.6 million is just a tiny slice.

Special Report: Check out our in-depth investigation of BP’s crimes in the Gulf, “BP’s Deep Secrets.”

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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