Is Skittles tangentially involved in a crisis?

Home Forums Citizen Engagement & Customer Service Is Skittles tangentially involved in a crisis?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jeff S 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #157999

    Chris Higginbotham
    Participant

    I saw a post online today that suggested Skittles and its parent company, Wrigley, are in the midst of a public relations crisis. Since Skittles have been used as a tool of protest in the backlash of the Trayvon Martin shooting, Wrigley’s sales numbers are skyrocketing. I found the idea of the company being in a PR crisis interesting because I hadn’t really thought about how Skittles’ loose involvement could affect the company. I thought I’d share here.

    http://spinsucks.com/communication/pr-crisis-for-skittles-in-wake-of-controversial-teen-shooting/

    What do you think? Should Wrigley respond/take action? Has your organization ever been involved tangentially in a situation that required a response?

  • #158007

    Jeff S
    Participant

    In the Trayvon Martin case Skittles was used to show he was unarmed returning from a store with only a drink and the candy. Since this case has now transgressed into a political showcase I have not heard much discussion about the candy. Wrigleys should not respond in fact if more entities that do not have anything other than a passing interest in this case would stay out of the discussion it would not have become such a hot issue.

  • #158005

    Chris Higginbotham
    Participant

    Well, I didn’t explain this in the original post, but the issue brought up in the blog is that Wrigley is being accused of profiting off the controversy. You’re right, Jeff – Skittles didn’t really have anything to do with what happened; they’ve just become a symbol. But now the people who have turned the product into a symbol are hinting that the company is profiting off what happened.

    The discussion on Gini Dietrich’s blog is around whether Skittles should use these new profits in some sort of philanthropic way. It sounds like you don’t think so because it will just attract more attention to the issue, but don’t you think that could negatively affect Wrigley’s corporate reputation?

  • #158003

    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    Wrigley didn’t ask to profit off the tragedy. And quite frankly, those covering the story could have conveyed the same terrible tale by noting that Trayvon had “candy” and a soft drink. There would have been no less sadness to the event with that phrasing. The obsession with naming the specific commercial product as if it were a product placement in a movie, or a movie star wearing a specific designer as they sashay up the red carpet at the Oscars, is someone else’s doing, not Wrigley’s. They have no more obligation than McDonald’s did to contribute to the Democratic Party when Pres. Clinton popped in with his secret service guys for a burger after jogging. The symbolism of Skittles, and sales boost, will wear off by December. I just hope the soul-searching required in the wake of this tragedy has not similarly waned.

  • #158001

    Corey McCarren
    Participant

    I second exactly what Mark Hammer said. I’m all for philanthropy, but they aren’t by any means obligated to be philanthropic because they have an increase of profits, regardless of the reason.

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