Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Behold the Power of the Boycott.



Last week was a big week. After  3 out of the 5 honorees for the Kennedy Center Honors announced that they would not be attending , and the other 2 indicated they were likely to follow their lead, President Trump announced that he would not attend.  Wow. 

So it seems to be a good time to look again at the power of @grabyourwallet and @slpng_ giants.

1. As of the beginning of June, Sharon Coulter founder of grabyourwallet, reports that 22 companies on the list have dropped Trump products, and the grabyourwallet website has 2 million unique visitors each month. (Kramer, 2017)

2. Breitbart, the favorite target of sleeping giants, has lost 90% of its advertisers in two months, and visitors have declined by 53% since November.  Click-through rates on the site are a dismal 15%.  (vs. 32% for the New York Times)   (Bhattarai, 2017)

3. The exodus from the Manufacturing Council started with Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier and quickly escalated, so by the next morning 6 CEOs had resigned.  Then Sleeping Giants took up the cause, and tweeted the names and contact information for the remaining CEOs. By the next morning the group announced they were disbanding.  And the Strategy & Policy Forum followed suit.  The Infastructure Council was abandoned before it was even started. (Paletta & McGregor, 2017)

The Council for the Arts, which was comprised of Obama appointees, quit the next day too.  (Hipes, 2017)

4. Then Sleeping Giants began tweeting the names of charities who intended to hold their fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago, and singling out their directors, with names and photos. It's a moving target at the moment, but as of yesterday, 16 charities had canceled.  Since Mar-a-Lago makes $100K - $275K per event that has to hurt.  (Dangremond, 2017)

5. On Monday a New Jersey chapter of the United Way canceled its scheduled event at Trump's New Jersey golf club.  One imagines they will not be the last to do so. (Shelbourne, 2017)

6. Meanwhile, Trumps' attacks on CNN have really done wonders for the network.  Their ratings in second quarter 2017 were their best since 2003.  (Kruzel, 2017)

7. And the "failing New York Times," clearly isn't, as they gained 93,000 subscribers in 2Q, and revenues were up 9% versus year ago. (Ember, 2017)

Money talks. And boycotts work.  Expect to see more.


Kramer, M. (2017, June 4) Grab your wallet, boycott Trump and participate in “A sprawling landscape of resistance” salon.com  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from http://www.salon.com/2017/06/04/boycott-trump_partner/

Bhattarai, A. (2017, June 8)  Breitbart lost 90 percent of its advertisers in two months: Who's still there?  chicagotribune.com  retrieved August 19, 2017, from

Paletta, D. & McGregor, J. (2017, August 16)  Trump’s business advisory councils disband as CEOs abandon president over Charlottesville views. washingtonpost.com  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from

Hipes, P. (2017, August 18) Another Presidential Council, This One Focused On The Arts, Quits On Donald Trump.  deadline.com.  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from http://deadline.com/2017/08/donald-trump-presidential-committee-on-the-arts-and-humanities-quits-1202151717/
Dangremond, S. (2017, August 18)  Eight Charities Have Canceled Their Mar-a-Lago Galas This Week.  townandcountry.com.  Retrieved August 19, 2017, from http://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/politics/a12033310/mar-a-lago-charity-fundraisers-canceled/
Shelbourne, M. (2017, August 22) New Jersey charity pulls out of event at Trump golf club. thehill.com. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/347419-new-jersey-organization-pulls-out-of-event-at-trump-golf-club
Kruzel, J. (2017, July 3)  Trump’s Pants on Fire claim that CNN ratings are ‘way down’.  politifact.com retrieved August 19, 2017, from  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jul/03/donald-trump/trumps-pants-fire-claim-cnn-ratings-are-way-down/

Ember, S. (2017, July 27)  New York Times Reports Strong Quarter on Digital Revenue Growth.  nytimes.com.  Retrieved August 19, from  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/business/new-york-times-company-2q-earnings.html?_r=0

Friday, August 18, 2017

Home Depot sent me the wrong item.



This is what I ordered...


This is what I got...  
Since the order numbers matched, someone presumably didn't notice that the photo on the box was different from the actual item.  Since the latter was clearly visible it shouldn't have been a problem for them. 

But now it's a problem for me.  I had to waste an hour of my valuable time returning the item.  As far as I am concerned Home Depot owes me $100.

When they asked me to review my purchase I posted the same photos and story that I posted here.  I guess I'm not surprised that they emailed me the next day to tell me that my comment had been rejected. 

But it does make me wonder if they reject all negative comments.  And if others online do the same thing.  It's an important issue since research shows that consumers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with "excellent" reviews; and 86% will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. (Rudolph, 2015)

I've noticed that Yelp posts some negative reviews under a sub-heading labeled "not recommended."  At least they aren't suppressing them.  But then again they aren't trying to sell me anything. 

Buyer beware.


Rudolph, S. (2015, July 25)  The Impact of Online Reviews on Customers' Buying Decisions.  business2community.com.  Retrieved August 17, 2017, from


Friday, August 11, 2017

Bud Light exchanges fun for ingredients. Good luck!



A few years ago I read that someone in marketing at Bud Light said: "Beer drinking is fun, so we think our ads should be fun."  That works for me.

But I guess he has moved on, because Bud Light has just launched a new campaign focused on their ingredients.  One of the commercials positions the brand as an alternative to craft beers, which is an interesting idea.  But it's still all about the ingredients.

You can look at the ads here...





Last fall, Taster's Choice launched a new campaign with a similar ingredients focus.  My students weren't impressed by it.  You can check out their comments here...


Unfortunately the commercial is no longer available. I'm sure it's no coincidence.


Brown, L. (2017, August 10)  Bud Light's new Ads Seek To Turn Around 'Underdog' Image.  stltoday.com   Retrieved August 10, 207, from
http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/bud-light-s-new-ads-seek-to-turn-around-underdog/article_a3837fc5-ee11-5c30-8fdf-d92d5b5de383.html