Funnel - Company Logo Removal

BlythSpirit
15th January 2007, 13:37
Just a quickie gents -
When did the oil companies remove their corporate logos from the funnels of their tankers, and what was their reasoning behind it all? They haven't taken them off all their Petrol/Gas Stations onshore.

Thamesphil
15th January 2007, 13:56
Basically the whole culture of shipowning and operating by the oil companies has changed in the last 10-15 years. With the notable exception of BP, most oil companies now prefer to charter-in tonnage for several years rather than invest in ships of their own. The chartered-in ships will invariably wear the colours of their real owners which include many well known names such as Maersk, Frontline, etc. Of course, even owned ships (such as those owned by BP) no longer have the famous logos visible and there is much speculation as to the reason for this. Many suspect it might be to reduce exposure to publicity should something go wrong. Authoriities notoriously over-react when there is even a hint of an oil spill, so you can't really blame them.

Phil

Peter4447
15th January 2007, 13:58
Not sure about this but I think you will find that it has a lot to do with possible adverse publicity in the event of oil spills/pollution etc. Esso quickly changed the name of the Exxon Valdez to Star Meditteranean after the major incident in Alaska. I think you will find BP changed their shoreside logo from the shield to this weird star thing at the same time as the shipS.
Peter4447

non descript
15th January 2007, 14:28
A good question and excellent replies by Phil and Peter - I would suggest March 16, 1978, was probably the most likely date....

Well OK, let's say a few days after March 16th, when the tedious truth of having one's name on the bow and the funnel of one's stranded ship aground on Portsall Rocks finally hit home as "counter-productive"

(==D)

James_C
15th January 2007, 14:34
BlythSpirit: M'learned friends are correct in that the reason for removal is to avert any adverse publicity in the immediate aftermath. Naturally anyone can go on the web and see who owns whose ship, or look at a copy of Lloyds register, but by then the PR/Spin machine of the company involved will have notched into gear ready to deal with the press.
Paul: You're right about the logos. It's offical name is the 'Helios', though it's universally known as the Flora logo, or the Spirograph logo. Hard to believe they paid some design consultant £15 million pounds for it. Anyone else remember those spirograph sets when you were a kid? This being applicable to generations from the 50s onwards!
In the early 90s when BP ships still had the logo on the funnel, everytime a ship went to the States a group of 6 painters were taken onboard for the duration. Their only job was to paint out the funnel logo immediately should there be any incident.
Thamespil: even BP are in on that game now. It's only the LNG/LPG carriers that have any long term future by the company, and they're all owned by banks (Barclays/Natwest/Royal Bank of Scotland etc). Although it looks on the surface (and the PR office like to project the idea) that they're "owned" by BP, in reality none of them are. They're all on 5-10 year bareboat charters, which, once complete, they're replaced in the fleet by new tonnage.
There is some very creative accounting and financial dealing going on behind the scenes to create this illusion, as what goes on is beyond the realms of normal bareboat charters.

BlythSpirit
15th January 2007, 14:42
Many thanks for the enlightenment gents -it makes commercial sense - but I'm sure a lot of mariners took some pride in their individual company logo being displayed on each vessel.

Someone made the comment in another thread about tankermen being allocated different ships each trip, - he was used to serving on the same vessel for years, the continuity of your company logo on each tanker seemed appropriate back in the old days.

The BP change of corporate logo cost a fortune to implement, as I recall Lord Brown (soon to depart ) wanted it to de-emphasize the British part after his american oil company aquisitions!

Thanks again.

James_C
15th January 2007, 15:33
Aye true enough. British Petroleum is now no more. The official company name is "BP"!!
You get in trouble if you show your age and call it by the proper name.

Peter4447
15th January 2007, 16:04
Just as a point of passing interest a few years ago the 'Star Mediteranean' anchored for a shortwhile in Torbay. I happened to mention her former name of Exxon Valdez to the Agents dealing with her and was immediately requested not to mention this publicly. I do think that at times all this PR nonsense about the slightest whiff of bad publicity goes way over the top!
Peter4447(Thumb)

Thamesphil
15th January 2007, 16:22
Jim,

I take your point regarding the BP ships, but I am really referring to tonnage taken on charter from other shipping companies, rather than mortgage-type finance arrangements with banks and finance institutions. Many ships are financed through banks, K.G. (Germany) or K/S (Norway) type investment schemes and this has been going on for decades. Weren't some of the old BP ships owned by someone like Midland Montague Leasing or Lombard Finance Ltd?

Thamesphil

Frank P
15th January 2007, 16:43
When the top people at BP authorized the £15 million for the Logo change, I wonder how much of that money found its way into the Swiss Banking sytem in numbered accounts?????

Cheers Frank

Sebe
15th January 2007, 18:09
Just as a point of passing interest a few years ago the 'Star Mediteranean' anchored for a shortwhile in Torbay. I happened to mention her former name of Exxon Valdez to the Agents dealing with her and was immediately requested not to mention this publicly. I do think that at times all this PR nonsense about the slightest whiff of bad publicity goes way over the top!
Peter4447(Thumb)

After the rebuilding of the Exxon Valdez, she traded for some time as the Seariver Mediterranean, regularly loading from Ras Isa, Yemen to the Mediterranean. On board were all the underwater inspection videos of the damage. She was a fine vessel, but unfortunately was banned from the US coast.

Sebe

dwardley
5th April 2007, 14:07
There was a time during the apartheid era when ships sanction busting into south africa removed logo's from their funnels. Shells' T Class ships had black stacks so that they could run un-noticed into richards bay.

ernhelenbarrett
7th May 2007, 05:39
Re removal of Logo from BP Tanker Fleet and going back to the original funnel colours. I believe the Company was originally called the Anglo Iranian Oil Company and the funnel colour was the old Iranian Flag colours. I was on British Gratitude/MAGQ in 1954/55 and we were the first BTC vessel to get the BP funnel Logo, all Tanker Companies dropped their Oil names , Esso. Caltex, etc after the Exxon Valdez Incident andapparently BP has gone back to the old Iranian Flag markings
Salaams Ern Barrett