Have you seen this television advertisement, from British oil giant BP, starring members of the U.S. Olympic team. Or a similar one showing British Olympians?
BP is a major sponsor of the London Olympics--the "official fuel and gas provider" and "sustainability partner'--so these advertisements are expected.
The company is still trying to recover public goodwill after its Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sunk, spreading nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Some environmental groups, protesting against BP's involvement in the London games, are encouraging acts of "brand piracy"--vandalizing BP's billboards by splashing them with oil-black paint.
The protest site, f-ingthefuture.org, is attempting to mobilize Londoners against BP's involvement in the games.
"Organisers of the Olympics have decided to allow BP, one of the dirtiest companies on earth, the opportunity to rebrand itself as socially responsible and take an active role in proposing how society should approach climate change," the site says.
"By sponsoring activities like the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival, the World Shakespeare Festival and the Games themselves, BP is able to continue its catastrophic, though increasingly profitable, operations. That’s why we had to act."
Activists got to an enormous, six-panel billboard on London's Cromwell Road, splattering each panel and scrawling the activist URL on one side (f-ingthefuture is a play on BP's Olympics slogan, "Fueling the future").