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BP buying Google and Yahoo search results on oil spill

The company explained it intends to make information more accessible.

BP has confirmed it is buying top search results for terms such as "oil spill" and "Gulf of Mexico" on major search engines, Google and Yahoo.

The oil company said the move is intended to make information more accessible on their efforts to contain the oil leak off the US coast, and to provide key links on filing claims and volunteering.

However, BP's strategy is widely seen as a bid to control its image, which has taken a major battering, especially on web platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Critics point out that the company is spending a lot of money to play down other legitimate news and opinions addressing the spill, which began last month after a BP-operated rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing one of the worst environmental disasters in US history.

According to a report, industry observers have dubbed BP's tactic "crisis marketing". They said the move to control a company's online image during a crisis situation is a relatively new one, signifying the rising importance of internet information channels.