Posted by Abe Sauer on May 15, 2013 10:54 AM
Minnesota nice gave way to a bit of Minnesota irony on Wednesday as Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill legalizing gay marriage equality in the state. The irony is that Governor Dayton is the scion of the Dayton's department store chain which became monster retailer Target, the same Minnesota-based retailer that created a PR disaster for itself when it funded his vehemently anti-gay rights opponent in 2010.
Target was no more forward looking just three years ago than it was last year. It's a lesson in brand legacy other companies can learn from.
Just six months after a statewide referendum to ban gay marriage failed, Governor Dayton signed a marriage equality bill before more than 7,000 onlookers. The move makes Minnesota the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. How shortsighted does Target Corp.'s only three-year old reasoning look now? In 2010, when the brand came under fire for supporting Dayton's anti-gay equality Republican challenger Tom Emmer, the retailer said its decision was "based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business interests." That statement—and Target's foot-dragging over the consumer outrage and protest in the wake of the news—severely damaged Target's theretofore gay-rights-friendly image. The brand damage has faded but lingers to this day.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 25, 2013 06:16 PM
Starbucks met with investors last Wednesday to filled them in on the farm its buying in Costa Rica—a company first—as well as the expansion of its three-year-old My Starbucks Rewards program, now allowing folks who buy SBUX products in grocery stores as well as in other Starbucks-owned brands such as Teavana to earn points that they can redeem over in Starbucks cafes. The hope is to double the loyalty program to nine million folks by the end of fiscal year 2013.
But the biggest moment of the meeting was likely when CEO Howard Schultz proved he was worthy of being made to look heroic in a comic book by responding forcefully to a shareholder that questioned the company’s support of Washington state’s same-sex referendum last year: “We want to embrace diversity,” he said. “The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity.” He went on to suggest that the shareholder was more than welcome to sell his shares and take his money elsewhere. “This is not an economic decision,” he said. And then was applauded by other shareholders.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2013 04:26 PM
The U.S. federal government still defines the act of marriage as one taking place between a man and a woman even though a number of states have made gay marriage legal and President Obama made it clear in his Inauguration speech (and other speeches since) that gay marriage is something he firmly believes in. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said after being sworn in on Jan. 21 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Roberts will have a lot to do with possibly making a change to the way the federal government defines marriage when his Court hears two gay-marriage-related cases on March 26 and 27. Nearly 300 companies came out Wednesday to “urge the U.S. Supreme Court … to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions,” Reuters reports.
Considering the size and number of brands taking part, it will be hard for conservatives who have long opposed gay marriage to try and boycott everyone involved.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2011 05:00 PM
Kenneth Cole is known for his outspoken, often political, sometimes controversial and always pun-filled ad campaigns that he writes himself. He also composes his own messages on Twitter (identifying it's him with "-KC") and on Facebook.
This morning he faced a backlash for jumping on Twitter's #Cairo hashtag with a tweet that not only shilled for his brand, but created a bit.ly URL using KCairo (a play on KC and Cairo) pointing to his new collection.
Cole's now-deleted tweet: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC”
The uproar that followed prompted this follow-up tweet to apologize: “Re Egypt tweet: we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment -KC”
He also posted a Facebook apology: "I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate. Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer"
It’s not the first time Cole has made questionably timed comments.Continue reading...