BP accidentally captures protesters in its latest nationwide ad


When The Alabama Oil Spill Aftermath Coalition showed up to the 40th annual National Shrimp Festival with anti-BP protests and posters, they hoped to get a bit of local news media publicity.

Instead, they got a cameo in a national BP television ad.

BP launched its latest nationwide ad campaign Monday to explain the company’s post-spill efforts to restore the Gulf of Mexico. As BP’s Louisiana external affairs manager Iris Cross says that economies on the Gulf Coast are “having their best tourism season in years,” the camera pans the Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala. and lands on the Alabama Oil Spill protesters.

It’s easy to miss their two-second appearance (see 0:47-0:49). From the camera’s distant bird’s eye view, the cluster of people could just as easily be sunbathers. But organizer Michele Harmon confirms that the shadowy figures are her group, who demonstrated at the event on Oct. 16. The coalition’s website features a closer photo of the protest, with the same blue tarp and bright yellow sign that appear in the BP video.

Harmon said she noticed cameras panning the scene from the roof of a nearby restaurant.

“I, like the rest of the protesters, assumed they were media filming the crowds at the festival,” Harmon said in an email. “When they panned the cameras our way, we made sure they knew we were there, in hopes of getting media coverage.”

Harmon said the group’s objective was to raise concerns about seafood safety and protest BP’s sponsorship of local events. BP isn’t listed on the Shrimp Festival site as a sponsor.

Simone Sebastian

14 Responses

  1. D White says:

    Dan, for one thing, the headline does not match 75% of the story. It’s one thing to talk about the obscure 1/2 second shot of three pixels in an ad, but to go on and on about Alaska.

  2. Tex says:


    I feel sorry for you. However, I can not see why BP should be paying you for Katrina.

    I am also of the opinion that when you live on the coast, especially in South Louisiana, you are willingly and knowingly taking and accepting risks of severe weather taking away your dwellings and the way of living.

  3. Paul O. says:

    Another rent-a-mob bought and paid for by George Sorros and the rest of the Democrat party. What a bunch of losers.

  4. Norman Zachary Taylor says:

    I don’t see anything that’s of interest to me, I want to know why BP is still trying to get out of paying the people of Plaquemine Parish,La. I had a stroke recently because of the stress that I was under, so what happened to the $20 billion dollars that the President signed for the true victims of Venice, La. I am still homeless from hurricane katrina, sleeping in my van because FEMA and Road home did not give the residents of Plaquemine Parish any funds, I have 500 signed petitions from the residents that did not receive any funds.

  5. Tex says:

    Sounds like these protesters are keeping a pretty busy life between protesting BP and occupying Wall Street. May be this could be your life after your stint at the Chronicle Steffy. Protesting! It would certainly fit your purpose in life.

  6. D White says:

    I watched the video several times, can’t even begin to see anything, yet we get this giant ad. I’m sure if you interviewed every person on the beach that day you might find any angle to write a stupid story.

  7. D White says:

    It sure would be refreshing to have a local paper that actually supported the city’s primary industry. Heck it would be refreshing to have actual journalism with a neutral position. Instead, we get this trash day after day.


  8. Paul O says:

    This is news while the real news below is ignored by the left wing media??

    MF Global chief missing $1.2B is financial adviser to EPA

    “During two days of recent congressional hearings into how as much as $1.2 billion disappeared from MF Global customer accounts, the chief operating officer of the imploding investment firm responded again and again that he did not know.

    Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow’s role as a financial adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.”


  9. Indianpaintbrush says:

    More than six…… and he was the author of at least half of them….

  10. Signal2Noise says:

    Weak attempt by BP…

  11. Indianpaintbrush says:

    Steffy’s book sales must be sagging. Notice how many BP articles there have been in the last week?

  12. Mike says:

    Are you kidding me? Why is this news? These protesters are proud of the fact they’re getting ‘media attention’ by a supposed 2-second clip where you couldn’t tell if these were protesters if you had a magnifying glass? Looks like a bunch of people having fun to me. Want media attention? Join the ‘occupy’ losers.