It is going to be quite a dance.
Kellogg’s had to do some good tap dancing when it found out its ads appeared on Breitbart.com.
It immediately pulled its ads from the site.
The site is run by Steve Bannon a key advisor to Trump during the election and currently his chief strategist.
Breitbart immediately called for an immediate ban on Kellogg’s products. A quid pro quo for America’s heartland cereal brand.
I worked on Kellogg’s when I was a younger man than I am today. I had been transferred from Canada to Chicago to work on the business. My memories were about meetings with the clients in the factory in Battle Creek before they moved downtown.
On my early morning jogs through town I was pretty much surprised by how run down the city was. There was no Winthrop’s City on the hill. Maybe a new Walmart had just opened outside of town. The town, which was pretty much rust belted long before NAFTA.
Soon after I read an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail called Several Institutions have learned how problematic advertising on the Internet can be. Companies like the Toronto Blue Jays, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Porter Airlines and the Stratford Festival all had ads that appeared on Breitbart as well.
Canada is a country where according to many polls, 80% of the population does not have a favorable impression of Trump. But then again Canada is a country used to being a mouse sleeping next to an elephant.
On Boxing Day I read an article in the New York Times called Advertising’s Moral Struggle: Is Online Reach Worth the hurt?
Morals and advertising are unusual partners that often don’t align. After all much of advertising is focused on telling you that if you buy a certain product your life will improve and you will be popular etc. etc. etc.
I remember working on Domino’s Pizza when I was in my thirties.
There was no programmatic media buying then. There were fact based selections placed and monitored by smart people.
We ran some networking spots that reached our target. It was a progressive show that would be innocent today.
But then again in the 70’s NBC was concerned that Mary Taylor Moore wore pants. Less than a generation ago. And the first Catholic President was elected in the 60’s. Another hurdle to climb.
The client had a major panic which I don’t blame. When we went to his office there were boxes and boxes down the hall with postcards from church members saying they would boycott Domino’s if they continued to run commercials in the show. It is hard to have courage when franchises are calling you every minute.
The problem also got some national press that lead to some restless sleeps for me.
So what does that mean today in the truth of Trump.
I still embrace targeting and demographics.
One third of the votes in the past election had a college degree.
They had the power to elect a president.
Programming media buying to them doesn’t mean a lot.
These times take courage and are not times to fold.
My experience from those Domino’s days taught me that a bully is a bully and it doesn’t impact what cereal or pizza I eat.
I like to dance but I am not a puppet.