Lowe’s deals “low” blow to the marketing and advertising industry

Withdrawing ads from television programs is a very slippery slope and really hurts the marketing and advertising industry as well as the companies who participate in these types of actions.

Recently The Florida Family Association who lobbies to withdraw ads from shows like  Degrassi, Modern Family, Family Guy and Dancing With the Stars, among others.  has recently convinced Lowe’s  to  withdrawn commercials from “All-American Muslim,” a new series on the TLC cable channel. “All-American Muslim,” follows the lives of a handful of Muslim families living around Dearborn, Mich.  “All-American Muslim” has drawn an average-size audience on TLC on Sundays, typically a very competitive night on television. The series started out in mid-November with 1.7 million viewers, but subsequent episodes have been seen by about one million viewers.

The Florida Family Association has attacked the series as propaganda that obscures “the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.” The Florida Family Association says 65 companies have left the show since it began urging advertisers to withdraw their support. Among those that have were Kayak, the travel Web site, and Lowe’s, the home-improvement retailer. Source

Lowe’s has been under relentless fire from critics since it announced its decision on Saturday to stop advertising in “All-American Muslim.” The dispute is filling up the Lowe’s fan page  on Facebook; more than 24,000 comments posted as of last week.

Companies periodically pull spots from controversial television and radio shows, but Lowe’s action has drawn loud criticism from elected officials, civic leaders and advertising professionals. The company, which says that it was never their  intent to alienate anyone,” is also dealing with the threat of boycotts from Muslim Americans.

The whole incident is clearly a major step backward for diversity, inclusion and engagement, and a blow to the advertising industry.

Lowe’s has now set the precedent that they will bow to pressure & campaigns from groups like the Florida Family Association. Other groups will now feel empowered & expect the same results.

Bill Imada, chairman and CEO of the IW Group in New York feels that “All-American Muslim” may survive Lowe’s move, but the retailer should have remained steadfast in its advertising support. Weighing options in a crisis like this can be difficult, but before pulling an ad, he states marketers and advertisers might follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision. Consider all possibilities, keeping in mind that any action could have the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Talk with the advertising and media agencies that created, planned and placed the ad. They may have contingency plans to mitigate potential problems.
  • Implement your company’s crisis communications plan by talking with internal stakeholders, including advertising, marketing, legal, public relations, communications, media relations and management teams. If you don’t have a plan, have your communications-public relations team develop one.
  • Engage key external stakeholder groups — which may support your ad — in tandem with your management, legal and communications/public relations teams.
  • Instruct your work force to direct all comments and inquiries about the issue to those responsible for communicating with customers, the media, and the public and public officials.
  • Talk with the broadcast station or network, to see if the matter can be addressed in a way that satisfies the needs of the advertiser, the station/network and the programmer.
  • Turn a negative situation into a constructive one. Lowe’s could lead by example, inviting all parties to a conference or another event dealing with diversity, inclusion and engagement. And companies should support broadcasts that facilitate the exchange of ideas and different viewpoints.

What is your take on companies pulling ads when pressured by an interest group?

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Seasons Greetings from Marketing in the Public Sector

This morning as I was sitting on the dentist chair, I saw this poster which made me think of the holiday season and the coming New Year. You may have seen this before but it is worth reading again as its advice is priceless.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. is an American author best known for his inspirational book, Life’s Little Instruction Book, which was a New York Times bestseller (1991–1994) Its sequel Life’s Little Instruction Book: Volume 2 also made it to the same best seller list in 1993.

  21 Suggestions for Success

By H Jackson Browne Jr.

  1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
  2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
  3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  6. Be generous.
  7. Have a grateful heart.
  8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  12. Commit yourself to quality.
  13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  14. Be loyal.
  15. Be honest.
  16. Be a self-starter.
  17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
  18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
  20. Take good care of those you love.
  21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

Whatever is good, whatever brings you joy…
May it be yours during this magical Season
and throughout the coming year.
Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season
and a New Year filled with Peace and Happiness and Great Marketing

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Compilation of Social Media Stats (USA and Canada) for Marketers 2011

 On her social-media and PR blog, Commentz, Sarah Evans and her staff compile a lot of stats. Each quarter, she cherry-picks the most relevant for marketers.

1. eMarketer estimates there will be nearly 21 million Twitter users in the U.S. by the end of this year, and a sizable minority of those will use the service at least in part to follow brands. (eMarketer)

2. Forty percent of bloggers consider themselves professionals. (MediaBistro/State of the Blogosphere 2011)

3. There are now more than 800 million active Facebook users, with more than 200 million added in 2011. (Social Media Examiner)

4. B2C Facebook results are 30% above average on Sundays. (Convince & Convert)

5. Tweets last up to 67 times longer for users with higher Klout scores. (Mashable)

6. Nearly every large charity and university in America is on Facebook. Less than 60% of the Fortune 500 is. (Grow)

7. B2B marketers are spending millions of dollars annually on social-marketing programs, though nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of social-media programs on lead generation and sales. (TechJournal/Pardot)

8. Thirty-four percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals using Twitter (AllTwitter)

9. Roughly two-thirds of social-media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies. (PEW Research)

10. The vast majority (95%) of the parents of 10-year-olds on Facebook were aware when their child signed up for the site, and 78% of those parents helped create the child’s account [despite rules that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site]. (CNN Tech)

11. One in three respondents (33%) said that they would prioritize social-media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer. (GigaOm)

12. One in three texters would rather text than talk. (NYTimes: Bits)

13. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said they interact with brands on Facebook primarily through reading posts and updates from the brands [….] 17% of respondents said they interact with brands by sharing experiences and news stories with others about the brand, and only 13% of respondents said they post updates about brands that they like. (Mashable)

14. The average Facebook user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, events and groups. (Social Media Examiner)

15. Seventy-three percent of people think employees overshare on social-media. (Marketing Pilgrim)

16. Forty-three percent of all online consumers are social media fans or followers. (HubSpot)

17. Netflix’s price hike caused 805,000 paid subscribers to jump ship in the most-recent quarter. (Mashable)

18. Sixty-four percent of Americans stream mobile video at work. (Tubefilter)

19. The Mobile Marketing Association of Asia stated that out of the 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile phone while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (60 Second Marketer)

20. According to ThreatMetrix survey of 722 active internet using consumers, 37% intend to make a purchase using their smartphone, nearly three times as many as those who plan to use their tablet. (Get Elastic)

21. A 2011 study by the National Restaurant Association confirms that consumers who use social media, including apps, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon and more, not only dine out more, but are more likely to become return customers. (ReadWriteWeb)

22. Ninety-five percent of Facebook Wall posts are not answered by brands. (All Facebook)

43. Twenty percent of searches on Google each day have never been searched for before. (HubSpot)

24. Tablet owners tend to consume a greater variety and volume of news on their devices, and tablets’ visual, interactive features encourage in-depth exploration, according to a joint study from Starcom MediaVest and the online division of the BBC. (Mashable)

25. Auto-posting to Facebook decreases likes and comments by 70%. (Inside Facebook)

26. LinkedIn has 64 million users in North America alone. (All Twitter)

27. Twitter updates that include verbs have a 2% higher shareability than the average tweet. (HubSpot)

28. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are now considered cornerstones of most social-media strategies in larger companies. Ninety-four percent of respondents said Facebook is one of their top three social media platform priorities. Twitter was second with 77%, and YouTube trailed with 42%. (Search Engine Watch)

29. SEO still dominates for marketers, with both B2B (57%) and B2C (41%) businesses stating it makes the biggest impact on their lead generation goals. (AllTwitter)

30. Overall, 57% of comments about U.S. airlines on social media in the past year were negative. But American Airlines — the world’s fourth-largest airline — stood out with only 12% of social-media opinions about the airline being positive. (The Realtime Report)

31. Fifty-six percent of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook. (Mashable)

32. Fifty-six percent of college students said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or would join and find a way to circumvent corporate policy. (GigaOm)

33. Johns Hopkins, Facebook’s birthplace Harvard, and Notre Dame are the top schools for social media. (Boston.com)

34. Only 15% of the average local business’s fans are in the city where the business is located. (WSJ)

35. More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products than purchasing them — 80.8% compared to 41.4%, according to BIGresearch — but attitudes vary quite a bit among different age groups. (eMarketer)

36. When you’re cruising around the internet, how much of your time is spent on a social network or blog? According to a new study published by Nielsen, those two categories eat up 23% of internet usage overall. This is double online gaming, which comes in at number two and after that, it takes 75 different categories to account for the remaining 35% of time spent. (Marketing Pilgrim)

37, When it comes to liking brands on Facebook, the reasons are varied, but for the most part, respondents said they “Like” a brand on Facebook because they are a customer (58%) or because they want to receive discounts and promotions (57%). (Mashable)

38. There are 245 million internet users in the US, according to Internet World Statistics. Nielsen estimates that social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all active U.S. internet users. (PR Week)

39. IT professionals see serious risks associated with enterprise social network use — and only 29% say they have adequate protection. (InformationWeek: The BrainYard)

40. There are now 100 million active [Twitter] users — users who log in at least once a month — with half of those users signing in at least once a day. Fifty-five percent of them access Twitter via mobile; 40% actually don’t Tweet but simply dip into their Timelines to keep tabs on what people are saying. (CNN/Fortune)

41. Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social-networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social-networking sites. (Wired PR Works)

42. The mean half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours, on Facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via “direct” sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on Facebook than if you post on Twitter. (bitly blog)

43. Social media is responsible for one-third the web traffic in Malaysia. (ReadWriteWeb)

44. There are more than 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) shared each week on Facebook. (HubSpot)

45. According to a survey of 1,897 senior executives conducted by Weber Shandwick in partnership with Forbes Insights, 84% of the execs believe their brand’s sociability is not up to world-class standards. (Mashable)

46. Beyonce’s pregnancy news at MTV’s VMAs birthed a new Twitter record of 8,868 Tweets per second. (TechCrunch)

47. Forty-four percent of companies track employees’ social-media use in andout of the office (TheNextWeb).

48. What makes people retweet? 92% interesting content. 84% humor. 66% personal connection. 21% celebrity status. 32% offered incentive (tangible or virtual). 26% “Please RT!” (WhiteFireSEO)

49. Among college students and young professionals, 24% experience three to five interruptions in a given hour, while 84% get interrupted at least once while trying to complete a project. (GigaOm)

50. All but 7% of social-media campaigns used Facebook. (All Facebook)

http://adage.com/blog/adagestat/761

Social Media Use in Canada

Half of Canadians are on Social Networks – and 60% of all Canadians online are there as well. To put that in perspective, that’s over 17 million people across our great nation. While the number of Canadians on Social Networks has only grown by 4% since 2009, the frequency of Social Media use amongst Canadians is on the rise – big time. In 2010, 35% of online Canadians visited a Social Media site at least once a week – that number has now grown to 50%. Furthermore, in 2011 35% of online Canadians visited a Social Networking site everyday; a number that was only 19% a year ago. While 15% of Canadians stated that they use Social Media less than they did a year ago, 35% say that the time spent has increased.

There is a stereotype out there that Social Media is only for male teenagers and young adults. It’s no surprise that the 18-34 year old demographic is by far the heaviest users of Social Media in Canada, with 86% of that age range active on Social Networks. But older age ranges have significantly increased their Social Networking activity in recent years. Almost 2/3 of 35-54 year olds and over 40% of those over the age of 55 in Canada are now actively using Social Media. This isn’t to say that Social Media in Canada is getting “older”, but it is expanding its reach among the entire population.

And sorry guys, but the women take the cake on this one. 37% of online Canadian women say that they visit a Social Media site at least once a day, compared to only 24% of online Canadian men.

Who is the Canadian Social Media King?

There’s no surprise here – for years Facebook has dominated the Social Media game not only in Canada, but all over the world. With over 750 million users worldwide, Facebook continues to be king. In fact, 86% of all Canadians using Social Media are on Facebook. But they are not the only player in the game – we can’t forget about Twitter and LinkedIn, both of which have gained ground on the Social Networking giant. In 2009, less than 1% of Canadians used Twitter. Today that number has grown to almost 20%. Similarly, LinkedIn users in Canada have more than doubled to 14% from 6% in 2009.

And let’s not forget about the newest player in the game, Google+. Only a few weeks old, Google+ has made some serious noise by amassing over 10 million users worldwide. While it is still too early to tell the long term impact of Google+ on the Canadian Social Media landscape, it will definitely be interesting to watch unfold.

http://www.webfuel.ca/canada-social-media-statistics-2011/

We are social media

53% Canadians see the Internet as an important part of their social life.

51% Canadians have visited online social network or community.

16% Canadians spend more time on social networking sites than on any website.

35% Canadians visit a social networking site at least once a week, 19% on a daily basis.

90% Canadian socializers are on Facebook, 10% on Twitter, 9% on LinkedIn.

• Canadians visit YouTube more frequently than any other nationals. In 2010, they spent an average of 4.4 hours a month watching videos on YouTube.

5% have shared their current location with members of an online community

Sources: The Ipsos Canadian inter@ctive Reid Report 2011 Fact Guide; The Globe and Mail What makes Canadians spend more time online?, 2010

Facebook is still on the lead

16,9 million active Canadian users a month, 9 million users a day

• Average of over 400 minutes on Facebook per month, 20 minutes a day

• Average of 190 friends per user

60% of Facebook users who become a fan of a brand (or cause) are more likely to recommend it to a friend

http://www.tacticdirect.com/site/index.php/en/blogue/entry/social-media-stats-for-canada

For more Canadian stats see this super you tube video

http://publicimagedesign.com/2010/05/canadian-social-media-stats/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/08/social-media-statistics-2011_n_873116.html

Hope you find this useful

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