For six years, Consumerist readers have picked a winner in the Worst Company In America tournament. And in those six years, while one or two companies in the brackets have made mention of the contest — if only to poke fun at the winner — no WCIA champ has come forth to accept the title. But there are some who feel like the winners would benefit by exhibiting some humility and publicly accepting the Golden Poo.
Following Monday’s announcement of BP’s slim victory over Bank of America in this year’s Worst Company tournament, travel journalist and consumer advocate Christopher Elliott used his bnet.com column to offer the new champion some advice.
Saying that BP squandered a golden opportunity by not publicly reacting to the WCIA news, Elliott offers the following tips for the oil company, and really any company that could ever win the Worst Company title:
Respond. “In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP sold itself to consumers as a more transparent company,” writes Elliott, who made attempts to contact the company for comment. “Refusing to acknowledge this slight doesn’t exactly build trust.”
Laugh about it. Elliott points to the example of Sandra Bullock, one of only a few A-list actors to accept a Razzie award in person, as an example of how a moment of ostensible shame can be used to one’s advantage.
Promise to do better. “Why not use this opportunity to again acknowledge its shortcomings and assure everyone they’ll do better?” he asks.
Seize the moment. By ignoring the WCIA results and media requests for comment on the topic, Elliott says BP missed an opportunity “to show you understand that we live in a connected world where social media matters.”
BP, like all WCIA winners, has a long way to go before it can even begin to improve its public image. Would at least an acknowledgment of the tournament have been a baby step in the right direction?