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BP Olympic ads subvertised all over London!

(Press release & images taken from

BP’s Olympic branding defaced throughout London 

23rd February – For Immediate Release 

Today hundreds of BP signs across London were targeted by activists protesting against the company’s role as ‘Sustainability Partner’ of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Around the capital, protesters hit petrol stations, advertising hoardings, and BP-sponsored cultural institutions[1], disfiguring hundreds of the famous BP ‘sunflower’ logo. Advertisements with the company’s Olympic strapline ‘fuelling the future’ were altered with the addition of three asterisks to make ‘f***ing the future’.

Activists said the ‘subvertising’ action, dubbed ‘Brand Piracy’ day, would escalate public debate[2] of BP’s sponsorship after headlines in recent months had focused on the Dow controversy.[3] The action was said to be “the first of many” with “more BP branding to be targeted in the run up to the Olympics”.

One of those taking part in the action, Bridget Peterson, said, “BP has just closed its solar business[4] and is now plunging into highly polluting tar sands[5], exploring the pristine Arctic[6] and restarting its deepwater drilling operations[7]. These extreme forms of energy extraction are incompatible with stopping climate change,[8] yet BP pursues them greedily while gloatingly advertising itself as ‘Sustainability Partner’.”

Another activist, who wished to remain anonymous, explained, “The Olympics gives BP the chance to look ethical and yet lead the public down the garden path. BP pays millions to manufacture a false reputation as a ‘sustainable’ company,[9] and deflect all attention from its actual operations. This sickening marketing spree amounts to a major cover-up – and so today we took our own action to cover it up.”

A website,, shows pictures of the action and outlines the problems with BP’s sponsorship of the Olympics.

For more information, interviews and high-resolution photos, email or phone Bridget Peterson on 07741 103 248


[1] Cultural institutions, especially the Tate Modern, have long been targeted by activists concerned at oil companies using arts sponsorship to cover up their environmental and human rights atrocities. See e.g. and

[2] Concern over BP’s sponsorship of the Olympics entered the news last week when a coalition of NGOs and individuals wrote an open letter to Olympic organisers. See

[3] See e.g.

[4] BP closed its solar business in December 2011. See

[5] For more information on tar sands, see

[6] See

[7] Deepwater operations were announced to be restarted in April 2011. See The company still faces a civil court case over the Deepwater Horizon disaster due to start at the end of February. See

[8] NASA Climate Scientist James Hansen has shown that a safe level of CO2 can only be reached if coal is phased out and unconventional fossil fuels are not explored. See

[9] Research shows that BP’s sponsorship of the Olympics has indeed improved its public image. See