My Twitter pal AltaKocker linked me up to this short article from back in 2005:
Ford will start recommending that owners of its vehicles use fuel from BP. The suggestion will come via a printed statement on the gas cap, which of course isn’t visible until the owner has already begun the fueling process.[...] Ford appears to be trying to hitch their marketing wagon to a petrochemical company that’s trying to appear green“. [Laffy Note: That 'green' link will lead you to an "expired" BP page now]
What a success story! Who could be more environmentally conscious than BP? Why, BP has turned out to be the greenest company ev–
But the story made me wonder, is Ford still promoting BP to their unsuspecting customers? Do they even realize they are? And do potential buyers even realize it, or care? Well, I can’t speak for the buyers, because I couldn’t find any, but I did want to see what I could see, and find what I could find, so I toddled on down to my local Ford dealership.
First observation: There were a lot of very bored salesmen lolling around, and when they spotted me, the only non-employee on the lot, they were drawn to me the way Barbie McLipsSchmutz is drawn to a camera. One very weary Ford salesperson approached, and I was honest with him. I told him that I’d be writing about BP’s gas cap caper, and he was friendly and surprisingly agreeable, and frankly, couldn’t care less.
And he was completely unaware of the BP marketing ploy.
However, he did inform me that gas caps were being phased out gradually, model by model, year by year, and now they no longer exist. Luckily, they sell used cars at this particular lot, so I wandered around opening the little gas cap doors, peering in to see if there were caps and/or BP recommendations, and used my handy dandy cell phone camera to snap pictures.
On the 2008-2010 models that I found, there were either no caps, or very few caps with no BP ads. But once I hit 2007 models, well, let’s just say it was a real gas:
I have a feeling that if those Ford salesmen who had nothing to do realized that they were passively recommending BP to future buyers, they might use their spare time to replace those caps.
Ford: “We’re leading by example.“