FDBusiness.com

General Mills reacted ‘a little slow’ to racist backlash on Cheerios ad: Marketing expert

 Breaking News
  • Coca-Cola HBC to Acquire Italian Water and Sparkling Beverages Company in €88 Million Deal Coca‑Cola HBC has agreed to acquire Acque Minerali, a privately-held natural mineral water and adult sparkling beverages business based in Italy. The acquisition is being made in conjunction with The Coca-Cola Company, in-line with previous similar acquisitions. The total enterprise value payable by Coca‑Cola HBC and The Coca‑Cola Company, subject to customary closing adjustments, amounts [...]...
  • Britvic Signs Up to Science Based Targets Initiative Britvic has pledged to pursue bolder greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets by signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative. Britvic joins around 600 leading companies from around the world in formally committing to independently verified science-based GHG emission reduction targets. Britvic’s A Healthier Everyday sustainability strategy recognises climate change as one of the biggest threats facing [...]...
  • Marks & Spencer Partners Infarm to Bring Urban Farming to London Stores M&S Food is partnering with infarm – one of the world’s most advanced urban farming platforms – to deliver a range of fresh produce grown and harvested in a selection of the retailer’s London stores. Customers will now find a range of fresh herbs – including Italian, Greek and Bordeaux Basils, Mint, Curly Parsley and Mountain [...]...
  • Coca-Cola European Partners to Remove 4,000 Tonnes of Single-use Plastic by Swapping Shrink Wrap For Cardboard in Western Europe Coca-Cola European Partners, will be replacing plastic shrink wrap with cardboard for its can multipacks across Western Europe, removing approximately 4,000 tonnes of single-use plastic per year across the region. This is the latest move in Coca-Cola’s commitment to tackle packaging waste and remove all unnecessary single-use plastic from its secondary packaging. Plastic shrink wrapping is used [...]...
  • EU Leading in Global Agri-food Trade The EU has been confirmed for yet another year in its position as the largest global exporter of agri-food products, with sales reaching €138 billion in 2018. Agriculture products represent a solid share of 7% of the value of EU total goods exported in 2018, ranking fourth after machinery, other manufactured goods and chemicals. Agriculture and [...]...

General Mills reacted ‘a little slow’ to racist backlash on Cheerios ad: Marketing expert

General Mills reacted ‘a little slow’ to racist backlash on Cheerios ad: Marketing expert
May 31
13:10 2013

General Mills could have acted faster to disable YouTube comments on its new Cheerios advert as a flurry of racist remarks were made about the interracial family it featured, a marketing expert says.

The 30-second advert made by Saatchi & Saatchi aired on national television across the US for the first time last week and was posted to the Cheerios YouTube page shortly after. Comments remain disabled on the video – that has now been viewed on YouTube more than 2.1 million times.

“I applaud General Mills; they did a terrific job in this situation. They did the right thing, they were just a little slow,” said Richard J. George, professor of food marketing at the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.

“There were a lot of negative comments left on YouTube that went viral,” George told BakeryandSnacks.com.

Expect, prepare and fire

Given the increasingly online nature of marketing – particularly involvement on social media platforms – feedback and consumer response happens faster, in real-time and visible to the world, he explained.

“I guess the question food companies need to ask is not if there is a backlash, but when and in what form. It’s always difficult to prepare for the unexpected, but this should be the expected now,” he said.

“The key for companies is to have a contingency plan and pull the trigger quickly,” he added.

George said this incident would likely become a mini cast study on the future of how food companies should interact with social media.

Social media: Friend or foe?

The marketing professor said an incident like this should not put companies off communicating via social media.

“It’s a great vehicle for companies because it allows them to develop customer intimacy built on listening and interacting,” he said.

“This backlash would not be a reason to pull back from having a relationship with these consumers,” he added.

Beneficial and positive in the long-run

Cheerios is an iconic brand, he said, and all of the publicity around this incident is ultimately going to benefit it.

“Every media outlet in the US is covering it… And they are positioned as a forward-thinking company,” he said.

“It would cost them millions to buy that sort of advertising. It’s going to beneficial and positive for them in the long-run,” he added.

You can view the ad here . General Mills has defended its advert. Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios told BakeryandSnacks.com in an emailed statement: “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”

Gibson expanded in an interview with MSNBC: “The comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly. And that was really the trigger for us to pull them off. Ultimately we were trying to portray an American family, and there are lots of multicultural families in America today.”

About Author

colin

colin

Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • October 1, 2019PPMA Total Show
  • October 17, 2019Future Food-Tech
  • November 18, 2019Plastics Caps and Closures Conference 2019
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here



Advertisements