Publicis Groupe quickly distanced itself from its head of futures and insight, Tom Goodwin, after the former executive tweeted a controversial take on the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Publicis Groupe spokesperson said in light of Goodwin’s tweets, the agency decided to part ways with the exec, who was appointed to the role at the start of the year.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, Publicis Groupe has taken decisions and actions led by the principles of unity, empathy and humanity despite the collective hardships.
“These posts and exchanges by Tom Goodwin this week on social media do not meet the standard of conduct we expect of our company’s employees and were not aligned with our values. Publicis and Tom have parted ways.”
The incident is another reminder that as emotions and tensions run high, you should ensure that your leaders’ voices online don’t contradict your organization’s values.
Here are today’s top stories:
Audi apologizes and pulls “insensitive” image
The car maker issued a mea culpa on Twitter after backlash over its recent ad, which showed a young girl eating a banana while she leaned on the front grill of the company’s newest high-performance model, the Audi RS 4.
Critics said the child’s pose was “provocative” and life-threatening.
Some pointed out that the driver would not be able to see the child in that pose, leaning on the grille.
Others said the image was sexually suggestive, as bananas and sports cars have often been seen as symbols of male lust.
Audi’s slogan in English above the image reads: “Let your heart beat faster – in every aspect.”
In its apology, Audi said it would investigate the campaign image and whether “control mechanisms failed in this case”:
We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS 4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system. That’s why we showcased it with various family members for the campaign. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/XAeIjszUWQ
— AudiOfficial (@AudiOfficial) August 3, 2020
We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case. (3/3)
— AudiOfficial (@AudiOfficial) August 3, 2020
Why it’s important: The more you can anticipate potential backlash over marketing messages, videos and images you want to use, the greater your chance of avoiding reputational damage.
An ounce of prevention is definitely worth more than a pound of apologies. If everyone in the room has a shared vision, consider whether you should invite other members of your organization into your meeting, so they can share their experiences and point out potential gaps and blind spots.
Walmart is releasing tickets for its drive-in movie nights, which will take place at 160 of its Walmart Supercenter parking lots across the United States. Though tickets are free, people must reserve them in advance through the retail chain’s website.
There’s never been a better time for a drive-in. 😄 Get ready for some family fun in the parking lot of 160 stores nationwide with ~free~ movies like Black Panther, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Back to the Future, and more. #WalmartDriveIn
— Walmart (@Walmart) August 5, 2020
Along with the ticket announcement, Walmart also shared its event rules, which include having all attendees stay in their vehicles unless using the restroom—during which they must wear masks and socially distance from others.
The effort is a creative way to offer consumers a family-friendly activity while still adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, and can serve to boost the brand’s reputation as well as earn it kudos and headlines.
An infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines shared ways brand managers can restart their marketing campaigns as COVID-19 continues. The key is increasing your digital content footprint along with your social media presence, as consumers’ time online remains high:
You can view the entire infographic here.
How are you adjusting your content and marketing campaigns? Tell us under the #DailyScoop hashtag.
CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD
Looking for more insight on how to address the current global crisis and lead your organization into a strong recovery?
Join Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Board to network and brainstorm with peers, get the latest intelligence and research, and start to strategize for the future of your organization.
Instagram unveils ‘Reels’ to compete with TikTok
On Wednesday, the social media app rolled out its new tool that enables users to create 15-second videos with either original audio or a song from Instagram’s music library, along with tools such as augmented reality effects, speed options and jump shots to create interesting transitions within their creations.
Hellooooo, Reels 🙌
Introducing a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.
Reels is rolling out today to more than 50 countries around the world.
— Instagram (@instagram) August 5, 2020
Though anyone with a public account can share their Reels, content creators will be vying for front-page attention.
You’ll also see some reels with a “Featured” label. If your reel is featured in Explore, you’ll receive a notification. Featured reels are a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content we hope will entertain and inspire you.
Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage.
Why it’s important: Though Microsoft recently announced that it might acquire TikTok, the future of the social media app with its privacy and data concerns remains uncertain. As more brand managers are using Instagram, this announcement is especially relevant. Look out for content creators on the rise who you can to partner with as you seek to expand your reach—and consider ways you can make your content shorter and snappier than ever before. (You don’t have to take up the entire 15 seconds, to start.)
DOWNLOAD OUR REPORT
Following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, organizations were pushed more forcefully than ever before to take stands against systemic racism and move to support social justice initiatives. Which responses made an impact—and which responses fell flat?
Learn from 10 of the biggest brand messages in our special report, “Organizational responses to Black Lives Matter.” The report offers communicators important takeaways to lead organizations and clients in the second half of 2020 and into the future.
The Walt Disney Company is releasing the remake of it is 1998 animated film, “Mulan,” to its streaming service. Starting Sept. 4, Disney+ users can purchase the film for $29.99. The accouncement was made after the studio pushed back the film’s theatrical debut several times because of COVID-19.
Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, said the pandemic has forced the company to think of “different approaches” to better serve consumers.
“We thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family friendly film to them in a timely manner,” he said on the company’s third quarter earnings call.
Chapek added that “Mulan” will be released simultaneously in theaters in markets where Disney+ is not available and, of course, where theaters are open.
Consider how your organization can tailor its offerings to consumers throughout COVID-19, because re-opening efforts for many are still well into the future.
WHAT YOU SAID
We asked how you’re sharpening your skills as well as adding more, and half of you said you’re adding to your tool belt with virtual events and webinars. Roughly 32% are turning to articles and lists, while 14% are completing certification and other training programs.
How are you honing your skills and adding more to your tool belt?
Share your preferences and goals with us under #DailyScoop.
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) August 4, 2020
Is there a question you’d like us to ask in an upcoming poll? Let us know!
How are you ending your emails, especially during this time of uncertainty and change?
How are you currently ending your emails, PR and marketing pros?
Share with us below and under #DailyScoop.
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) August 5, 2020
Share your experiences and thoughts with us below and under the #DailyScoop hashtag.