I recently read an article by Bob Garfield in USAToday about the decision by Chipotle to stop their corporate sponsorship of The Great Salt Lake Council Scout-O-Rama. The reason? Someone at Chipotle’s headquarters realized the sponsorship would violate their corporate non-discrimination policies. (The Boy Scouts of America continues its policy of excluding gays.)
Now, the point of this post isn’t to get into all the political/moral/religious controversy surrounding the whole issue. The point is to use this one case as an example of how digital and social media is literally forcing transparency on corporate America, whether they like it or not. And it drives home the point that it’s mattering less and less what corporations and brands say about themselves, and more and more what the social and digital world says about them.
As Garfield writes, “People aren’t listening to what advertisers say, but we are talking about brands among one another on social media – the good, the bad and especially the ugly.”
Read the whole article at http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/04/02/chipotle-boy-scouts/2047465.
What are your thoughts on how digital & social media have affected brand perception – and corporate transparency? Is your view of brands shaped more by what you hear on Twitter or Facebook, by personal experience, or by advertising and marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts!