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What to do when oil hits $140? Advertise!

Written by A Forex View From Afar on Tuesday, June 17, 2008

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While crude oil made a new high yesterday and keeps moving to new ground almost weekly, oil companies invest more and more money in advertising to keep their image safe.

Oil companies invested over $52.5 million in the first quarter, up 18% from last year. The number is expected to grow, as corporates from the energy sector further intensify their effort to keep the image in the right place as gas reaches $4 a gallon.

It seems that they may have a hill to climb here. In 2006 a public survey showed Oil companies are seen as even worse than tobacco companies, and two years on they are ranking even lower. From my point of view, ranking under a company sells cancer inducing sticks is pretty dismal.

But than again, nobody is forced to smoke, whereas even an ubber-ecologist is forced in some way or another to use oil or any of its components on a daily basis. Add the fact that revenues of the most important oil companies reach hundreds of billions last year and it is now wonder that an image consultant is required.

I really wonder if all that money used for ads would not had a better result investing in alternative energy research. Patenting a new green technology that could actually work in the real world would send the company, as its shares, to a whole new level, not to speak about the free publicity that comes from newspapers and blogs.

Well, the conclusion could be there is no point in trying to paint the wolf as a sheep, oil companies will always remain oil companies: hunted by Congress when oil spikes, sold by every minded trader when oil goes down. While crude oil keeps inflating, we will stick to our currencies and try to benefit from them. Currencies are a safe place to be, no corporate policy around and especially no bubbles, only fair value.

WSJ: Oil Giants Try to Deflect Gas-Price Fury

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