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BP's image taking a beating

Judging from public opinion and its stock price, BP is having even less luck shoring up its image than it is plugging its broken well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Although area gasoline stations and suppliers say they have not seen any widespread boycott of BP, public relations experts say even that is a possibility if the environmental disaster drags on long enough.

Weekly polls show a growing number of Americans expressing anger and frustration — 81 percent in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll gave a thumbs down to BP’s response to the fatal explosion and oil rig fire.

Another poll also showed that 51 percent of Americans were willing to boycott BP, an idea that, of course, has its own website,

On Wall Street, BP stock Wednesday slid an additional 10 percent, to $29.20 a share, a 14-year low and half of what it was before the spill. When a company is as large as BP, that’s big money — more than $90 billion in lost stock value.

The public’s growing ire is most evident on social networking sites such as Facebook, where a “Boycott BP” page is nearing 500,000 members.

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