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BP Ripples

Snappy's debranding; going with own brand to avoid spill backlash
PHILIPSBURG, Pa. -- Fallout from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is reaching retail, according to The Altoona Mirror. Philipsburg, Pa.-based Snappy's Convenience Stores has decided it will no longer sell BP Oil products at its Bald Eagle, Philipsburg and State College, Pa., locations. It will begin selling its own Snappy's brand of gasoline, said the report.

"We are debranding BP. We will no longer be associated with BP by the end of the month. We are doing this because of the backlash and bad publicity from the handling [image-nocss] of BP's catastrophe," Sean Lay, vice president of operations, told the newspaper. "We don't want to be associated with them anymore. We've had enough."

Lay said he has noticed a slight drop in business at the locations that sell BP products.

"We want people to know we don't own BP. We want to make sure we are politically correct, and that is why we are separating ourselves from BP," Lay added. "We want to focus on the positive things we have done over the past 15 years."

Consumer watchdog group Public Citizen, among others, recently launched an online BP Boycott Pledge, and a Facebook group called Boycott BP urges people to avoid BP stations and affiliated companies. And onsite protests have sprung up around the country and have been gaining media attention. (Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage.)Seize BP, a campaign aimed at getting the U.S. government to seize BP's assets and redistribute them to those damaged by the spill, plans a week of demonstrations in all 50 states at gas stations and BP offices. "As this continues and BP continues to spend money on a cleanup effort which is failing, we think they will declare bankruptcy and...then nobody will be compensated," said Ian Thompson, a Los Angeles organizer for the campaign. "Which is why we're calling for a seizure of their assets to be put into a trust administered by the people affected in the region."In light of public displeasure, BP may have trouble charging a premium price at the pump for its products, Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Wall, N.J.-based Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), told Reuters in a separate report.

"We are starting to see some impact so far, and a percent of decline or two can have a dramatic impact," he said.. "Unfortunately, it has an impact on what you might say are the victims: the marketers and the dealers that made commitments to fly the BP flag."

Kloza said, "If people are serious about demonstrating or showing their indignant, they can divest themselves of investments, and maybe think about using a little bit less fuel, because there's really no downside in that."Andclick here for The Motley Fool's take on BP.

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