When is it NOT okay to show your support?

I want to start this post off by apologizing for not posting on Monday. There are a few life changes in the works which have made things rather hectic! But hopefully I will be able to post about them soon!

On to the post!

This week marked the anniversary of 9/11. As someone in the Marketing world I know how important it is for companies to show that they are aware of the events of the world and not entirely centered on making a profit. Many companies do this by donating to charity, participating in community events (i.e Ice Bucket Challenge) and making timely posts surrounding holidays.

However, when events such as 9/11 come up, there is a lot of controversy about how a company should handle it. Companies like Build a Bear posted about their support, and the public reacted so negatively they were forced to take down their post. Here was Build a Bear’s post:

In my opinion this was a very tasteful post and shows that they are conscious of an event very close to many people’s heart. However, many people felt the post was distasteful because they felt the company was “pushing” their product. I would agree with this if there was a link included to buy the bear or any of the accessories. However, this is not the case. The company simply used their image to show support. I see nothing wrong with that.

However, being new in the marketing world I am curious about this. This is why I want to turn to you. Do you think companies should refrain from posting this sort of support on an event so near and dear to the hearts of many?

Let me know your thoughts!

19 thoughts on “When is it NOT okay to show your support?

  1. No matter what they do someone is going to whine. “Oh they did this, so bad of them to take advantage of the day.” “Oh they didn’t do that, I won’t shop there because they didn’t recognize the day.” Pffft people are fickle.

  2. I’m torn on this one. I agree with you, in that they are not pushing their product by providing a link. I guess the part that bugs me a little is that they are showing a toy. If it were a Barbie dressed in camo, posted by Mattel? I think that is totally offensive. So, I’m on the fence about this. But I do agree with Pat, that you can’t please everyone.

  3. Timely question, since I am responsible for my company’s FB posts. I did, indeed, choose to show my company’s support for the 9/11 heroes and victims in a social media posting, and based on the positive response I feel this was the right move. I see nothing wrong with Build A Bear’s status update, either.

  4. Shae, I have to agree with you about the bear because I didn’t find it at all offensive in any way.

    “The company simply used their image to show support. I see nothing wrong with that.”

    Exactly. And as you shared, they didn’t include a link to their products as a means of making money off it. They did it out of respect.

    As always, my friend, you post the best topics!

    Have a super weekend!

  5. At first I thought they were trying to sell the bear – offensive. But they are just using their brand to convey their message, which I think is respectful and appropriate.

  6. I hadn’t seen it, but yes, I suppose it is okay for a company to offer support that way. If the public was that unhappy about it though and a majority felt it was inappropriate then it’s also okay that the company chose to remove it. Touchy subject. Guess it could go either way.

  7. Marketing is completely subjective and everytime you run a campaign (full disclosure, I uses to do marketing for a social enterprise) you take a chance. Some people might take offence, others might not. It’s up to the company to decide but it’s also up to us consumers to voice our opinions. I wouldn’t ike a company to stop a marketing campaign just because a few people have a chip on their shoulders and htink it’s their God-given right to say what it’s OK and what isn’t (for instance when the Humanist Association ran that famous campaign on London buses a few years ago with the slogan “THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.”, I thought it was brilliant). Then again with an event like 9/11 you have to be sensitive to the victimns and their families.

    Very good post.

    Greetings from London.

    • Thank you! I really appreciate feedback from someone in the field! I never heard about that campaign in London but it really sounds witty and fun. But I also understand why some might take offense.

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