ASEOHosting Says Leveraging Social Unrest in Marketing Proves to Be Dangerous

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A popular clothing brand's mismanagement provides a valuable lesson to marketers.

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...leveraging the recent unrest in the streets over police abuse for marketing purposes is a dangerous idea - especially if the brand doesn't the gravity of the topic.

Daniel Page, Director of Business Development at SEO-focused web host ASEOHosting says that leveraging the recent unrest in the streets over police abuse for marketing purposes is a dangerous idea - especially if the brand doesn't understand the gravity of the topic.

He points to a popular online clothing boutique as one of the most recent examples of tone-deaf messaging. Earlier this month, the brand's founder posted an image of riot police in front of its store with the caption “direct action in its glory" and sporting the Black Lives Matter hashtag.

The audience reaction was predictably swift and unsurprisingly vitriolic. First, the company attempted to leverage another hashtag, Blackout Tuesday. Promoted by activists, it involved sharing black squares instead of ordinary photos to show solidarity with protestors. Unfortunately, this was only met with more derision from consumers.

"Calls to boycott the company were almost immediate and became increasingly widespread," said Page. "Worse, many people used a hashtag to call out the brand's other misdeeds, which included stealing art. The brand's attempts to address the backlash only worsened it."

The company then released a public apology, claiming it was looking into how it could address the more toxic elements of its internal culture. It also pledged to make sizeable donations to nonprofits dedicated to police reform. Unfortunately, said Page, it was too little, too late. The damage had already been done.

"The damage had already been done while the brand was dragging its feet," he said. "Most people by this point had already made up their mind about the company and took its acknowledgment that it had lost money. It's safe to say that, at least for the foreseeable future, the brand is broken."

In terms of what businesses should do differently when it comes to major social issues, Page's advice is simple.

"Keep it short and sweet," he said. "Make sure you fully understand the issues on which your brand is commenting, and that you know where your audience's opinion - and perhaps more importantly, that of the general public - falls. Perhaps most importantly, if you misspeak or say something out of line, own your mistake, and address it immediately."

About ASEOHosting:
Launched in 2002, ASEOHosting is a leader in providing SEO Hosting, including Shared SEO Hosting, Dedicated SEO Hosting, US Dedicated SEO Servers, and EU Dedicated SEO Servers. Based in Orlando, FL, and Detroit, MI, ASEOHosting has established one of the web’s premier solutions for reseller web hosting, multiple IP hosting, dedicated servers, and VPS hosting. For more information, visit https://www.aseohosting.com.

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Daniel Page
ASEOHosting
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