Compromised? Florida newspapers get millions in BP-funded ads; Full page ads in Keys promoting BP’s image instead of paying claims

Sunday, June 27, 2010
By Paul Martin
June 26th, 2010

Florida has received $75 million to date from BP

Keys get BP money, Key West Citizen, June 26, 2010:

The Monroe County Tourist Development Council announced Friday it will receive $400,000 for an advertising campaign to counter the misconception that the Gulf oil spill is fouling Florida Keys beaches and waters.

The money is part of a $25 million grant BP has given the state for advertising.

“An amount of $400,000 is needed for advertising to counteract misconceptions regarding the viability of a Florida Keys vacation caused by extensive news media coverage, much of which painted a picture that the Keys were either being impacted by the Gulf oil spill or impacts were imminent and they would be ‘devastating,’ ” TDC Chairwoman Rita Irwin wrote in a prepared statement.

The bulk of the money will be used to advertise within Florida, whose residents and tourists make up the Keys’ primary summer market, TDC Director Harold Wheeler said. The balance will be used to advertise in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., where airlines fly directly to and from Key West.

BP has given Florida two previous installments of $25 million.

Good Morning Florida Keys, June 2010:

I look at BP’s cheery full-page ad on page 8-A of [the] Key West Citizen. The cheery ad about what a great claims payer BP is. …

Then, I wonder what… [the] Key West Citizen is doing, letting BP keep running it truly offensive full-page ads every day of the week, when the cost of those ads could be used to pay claims of Keys people against BP?

Then, I wonder why [the] Key West Citizen has not slammed BP for spending all of that money running full-page ads, instead of paying claims…

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