Consumer have ways of finding stuff out

UnknownSaya Weissman pointed out  that while many brands decided to tweet Martin Luther King Jr. quotes in honor of the holiday — a move that itself can vary in tone from tactful to dumbfoundingly tacky — others took MLK Day as just another opportunity to hijack some social buzz.  Consumers took issue and it’s just another way they are putting brands and companies on notice “don’t try and bullshit us to sell stuff!”

Here are some examples of brands that tried to use MLK day and consumers response via social media






The key lesson here: Don’t try insincere tributes to try and sell stuff because consumers will let you know that you have crossed the line.

Then there are companies that try to tell us that people are important, even as they screw over their employees.  Take the case of Liberty Mutual insurance.

Liberty Mutual, the insurance company,  saw profits more than double in 2012, to $829 million, despite large losses from Hurricane Sandy. For the first six months of 2013, the company reported net income of $766 million, up 28 percent from the same period last year.   It paid $4.5 million in 2011 to renovate the CEO’s executive suite and in July, the company opened its new $300 million Back Bay office tower, built in part with tax breaks and credits worth more than $46 million.

Yet Liberty Mutual cut back contributions to retirement plans and other benefits for its employees, just a year after a public uproar over lavish pay and perks for top executives of the Boston insurer.

The cuts come on the heels of former chief executive Edmund F. “Ted” Kelly’s retirement, capping a four-year period in which he earned $200 million, making him one of the highest-paid executives in the country. The Globe has reported that he is receiving an annual pension of about $3.3 million.


This company views employees, not as assets, but as an expense, yet their TV spots, try and convey a warm and caring company.  Sorry but this won’t fly either and it shows that companies still don’t understand that consumers do indeed have ways of finding your dirty laundry.


About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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