We can't stress how important your brand image is. Today we'll share some details with you about some tough decisions that advertisers had to make about three years ago to protect their brands.
A New York Times article announced settlements with five women who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment or verbal violence. This announcement caused more than 50 advertisers to pull their commercials on Fox News with "The O'Reilly Factor." O'Reilly seemed untouchable just years ago when hosting an exclusive interview with President Trump during the Super Bowl LI pre-game. Fox News officially announced that they cut all ties with its biggest TV star by mid-April.
After learning about this, major consumer brands realized that they were running ahead of racist, homophobic, and extremist content, compelling them to remove their Youtube ads. While digital and social media are a cheaper way of reaching your target market, this example shows the risks of not protecting your brand. Every minute of each day, some 400 + hours of content are uploaded to Youtube. Without sufficient precautions, this can be a huge Brand Image problem and could damage your reputation. Essentially, you're playing Russian roulette with your credibility by not taking those precautions.
Although these are very high-profile examples, everyday businesses of every size must make similar decisions. Can they sponsor an event or activity? Partner with another company? Refer existing clients to another company? Here you can learn how we advise our customers at UBT Agency to make some of these decisions.
It all begins with learning about who you are and what you believe in as a company. We listen and understand your core values and key messages.
If we conclude that who you want to partner with doesn't align with your business goals, we shift priorities as we know it will damage your overall brand and is not beneficial. Most importantly, messages must be clear and consistent with your internal team members and externally to your customer base.
Public perception and reputation are essential. In the case of O'Reilly, though he was never convicted of a crime, viewers would think that advertising on his show meant that the company was supporting him. Viewers would think that the company turned a blind eye to the allegations. Indirectly, viewers would assume that the company advertising, supported those messages with their ads running over the "extremist" YouTube videos during that time frame. Consumers prefer to do business and spend money with trusted companies that are more in line with their own values. As a brand, this reality can't be ignored.
We recommend that you have strong and clear brand messaging when you're faced with some of these decisions and allow those types of decision-making moments to improve your core beliefs and message. Will everyone like the decisions you make? Probably not. But follow our suggestions, and you can rest easy knowing that your brand image and credibility are safe.