Cause and effect: Kellogg’s edition

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Cause and effect: Kellogg's edition

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Hot Dog Vender:Got no opin­ions Sir, they’re bad for business

Inherit the Wind 1960

One of the val­ues of a being either com­pany oper­at­ing in a niche mar­ket is that if you have strong polit­i­cal opin­ions con­sis­tent with said niche to said mar­ket you can release them in pub­lic secure in the knowl­edge that such a move will not hurt the bot­tom line.

Another type of com­pany with this advan­tage is one that sells a unique prod­uct that can not be eas­ily obtained else­where. When that is the case the cus­tomer base, no mat­ter how offended by a par­tic­u­lar pub­lic opin­ion, par­tic­u­larly a busi­ness, will have no choice but to swal­low it’s pride and con­tinue to use said company.

Nei­ther of these would be con­sid­ered accu­rate descrip­tion of the Kellogg’s’ corporation.

Kel­logg, cit­ing ‘val­ues,’ joins grow­ing list of com­pa­nies that pledged to stop adver­tis­ing in Bre­it­bart News

From the story

The com­pany cited con­cerns that Bre­it­bart News, which has been described by many as por­tray­ing alt-​right ideals, does not align with its values.Kellogg’s has announced that it will pull all adver­tis­ing from the site. The com­pany cited con­cerns that Bre­it­bart News, which has been described by many as por­tray­ing alt-​right ideals, does not align with its values.

Bre­it­bart is not amused

Kellogg’s offered no exam­ples of how Breitbart’s 45 mil­lion monthly read­ers fail to align with the break­fast maker’s val­ues. Indeed, the move appears to be one more exam­ple of an out-​of-​touch cor­po­ra­tion embrac­ing false left-​wing nar­ra­tives used to cyn­i­cally smear the hard work­ing Amer­i­cans that pop­u­late this nation’s heartland.

Bre­it­bart News Editor-​in-​Chief Alexan­der Mar­low encour­aged the boy­cott of Kellogg’s prod­ucts, describ­ing their war against Bre­it­bart News as big­oted and anti-​American: “Bre­it­bart News is the largest plat­form for pro-​family con­tent any­where on the Inter­net. We are fear­less advo­cates for tra­di­tional Amer­i­can val­ues, per­haps most impor­tant among them is free­dom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an Amer­i­can brand, to black­list Bre­it­bart News in order to pla­cate left-​wing total­i­tar­i­ans is a dis­grace­ful act of cow­ardice. They insult our incred­i­bly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly per­cep­tive, highly loyal read­ers, many of whom are Kellogg’s cus­tomers. Boy­cotting Bre­it­bart News for pre­sent­ing main­stream Amer­i­can ideas is an act of dis­crim­i­na­tion and intense prej­u­dice. If you serve Kellogg’s prod­ucts to your fam­ily, you are serv­ing up big­otry at your break­fast table.”

In response, Bre­it­bart launched its #Dump­Kel­loggs peti­tion to encour­age its vast read­er­ship and the fol­low­ers of its #1 in the world polit­i­cal Face­book and Twit­ter pages to ban big­otry from the break­fast table by boy­cotting Kellogg’s prod­ucts.

Given the results of the elec­tion, the fact that the for­mer Chair of Bre­it­bart is now the strate­gic advi­sor for the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and that alter­na­tives to the prod­ucts offered by Kellogg’s made by other com­pa­nies abound, this pub­lic state­ment, as opposed to some­thing more generic like claim­ing they are sim­ply decreas­ing adver­tis­ing on polit­i­cal news sites post elec­tion, would seem to have been an ill advised PR move. The trend­ing #dump­kel­loggs hash­tag on twit­ter, the erup­tions on face­book with the loss of 2% of the stock’s value would sug­gest this, so I decided to try & find out what Kellogg’s had to say about it directly.

I called Kellogg’s Con­sumer affairs line at 18009621413. I had a very long wait before I spoke to a very busy young lady who informed me that the line was for prod­uct related inquiries and that she didn’t have a media con­tact num­ber but she did have both a num­ber for cor­po­rate 2699612000 and HR 18776947554 that she was kind enough to give me.

From there I called the Cor­po­rate num­ber. The switch­board oper­a­tor trans­ferred me to the media rela­tions depart­ment but before she did com­mented that while she had only fielded 2 calls on the sub­ject her co-​worker next to here was inun­dated with them with all but one call object­ing to the move.

I reached the voice mail of the media con­tact leav­ing a mes­sage with both my phone num­ber and email address seek­ing com­ment before this piece went live. As of this writ­ing I have not been con­tacted by either method which means I didn’t get a chance to ask any ques­tions con­cern­ing Kellogg’s state­ment on val­ues. Here are some obvi­ous ones they raise first about how the deci­sion came to be:

Given that this was a very pub­lic move by a major cor­po­ra­tion whose prod­uct is sold in prac­ti­cally every sin­gle town in every sin­gle state blue and red, what was the pro­ce­dure that led to this decision.

Who made the ini­tial sug­ges­tion for this move?

Was the com­pany approached by an out­side entity con­cern­ing Bre­it­bart or was this raised internally?

How Much dis­cus­sion went into mak­ing this decision.

How many peo­ple were involved in mak­ing this deci­sion and when the deci­sion was made was it reached unanimously?

Who drafted the ini­tial state­ment and at how many lev­els was said state­ment approved before it was released to the media

Those are all state­ments con­cern­ing “cause”, I also have a few on “effect”

as Kellogg’s con­sid­ers the bre­it­bart sites to be incon­sis­tent with their val­ues, or as Hillary Clin­ton would say “Deplorable”, do they con­sider the 46 mil­lion read­ers of Bre­it­bart site equally “deplorable” or incon­sis­tent with the val­ues of Kellogg’s?

Given that the for­mer CEO of Bre­it­bart now has a high posi­tion, some would say the most trusted posi­tion in the incom­ing Trump admin­is­tra­tion does their state­ment also mean that Kellogg’s con­sid­ers the val­ues of the incom­ing Trump admin­is­tra­tion and the vot­ers who elected them, includ­ing in the state of Michi­gan incon­sis­tent with the val­ues espoused by Kelloggs?

Given that Bre​it​bart​.com is incon­sis­tent with the val­ues of Kel­loggs will Kel­loggs decide that read­ers and sup­port­ers of the Bre­it­bart site need not apply for the posi­tions offered at the site & pro­moted on Twit­ter under the Kellogg’s jobs site and that cur­rent read­ers of the Bre­it­bart site employed by Kel­loggs should con­sider find­ing other work?

And finally one on the after­math of all of this

Given the rise of the #dump­kel­loggs hash­tag, the appar­ent large vol­ume of calls com­plain and the appar­ent con­clu­sion by con­ser­v­a­tives on social media that their busi­ness is no longer desired by Kellogg’s and the impli­ca­tions that has for both the stock price and the bot­tom line for the com­pany, what affir­ma­tive steps, if any, is the com­pany plan­ning to assure these very upset cus­tomers that they are val­ued mem­bers of the Kellogg’s cus­tomer com­mu­nity or do they plan to wait it out?

If I get a response before I leave for my overnight job I’ll include it here or in an update if any shows up after the post goes up.

Exit Ques­tion: Isn’t this either a class action or a “hos­tile work envi­ron­ment” case just wait­ing to erupt on Kellogg’s?


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CxCW_xtUoAAv4wI

Hot Dog Vender:Got no opinions Sir, they’re bad for business

Inherit the Wind 1960

One of the values of a being either company operating in a niche market is that if you have strong political opinions consistent with said niche to said market you can release them in public secure in the knowledge that such a move will not hurt the bottom line.

Another type of company with this advantage is one that sells a unique product that can not be easily obtained elsewhere.  When that is the case the customer base, no matter how offended by a particular public opinion, particularly a business, will have no choice but to swallow it’s pride and continue to use said company.

Neither of these would be considered accurate description of the Kellogg’s’ corporation.

Kellogg, citing ‘values,’ joins growing list of companies that pledged to stop advertising in Breitbart News

From the story

The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values.Kellogg’s has announced that it will pull all advertising from the site. The company cited concerns that Breitbart News, which has been described by many as portraying alt-right ideals, does not align with its values.

Breitbart is not amused

Kellogg’s offered no examples of how Breitbart’s 45 million monthly readers fail to align with the breakfast maker’s values. Indeed, the move appears to be one more example of an out-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hard working Americans that populate this nation’s heartland.

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow encouraged the boycott of Kellogg’s products, describing their war against Breitbart News as bigoted and anti-American: “Breitbart News is the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the Internet. We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg’s customers. Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.”

In response, Breitbart launched its #DumpKelloggs petition to encourage its vast readership and the followers of its #1 in the world political Facebook and Twitter pages to ban bigotry from the breakfast table by boycotting Kellogg’s products. 

Given the results of the election, the fact that the former Chair of Breitbart is now the strategic advisor for the Trump administration and that alternatives to the products offered by Kellogg’s made by other companies abound, this public statement, as opposed to something more generic like claiming they are simply decreasing advertising on political news sites post election, would seem to have been an ill advised PR move.   The trending #dumpkelloggs hashtag on twitter, the eruptions on facebook with the loss of 2% of the stock’s value would suggest this,  so I decided to try & find out what Kellogg’s had to say about it directly.

I called Kellogg’s Consumer affairs line at 1-800-962-1413. I had a very long wait before I spoke to a very busy young lady who informed me that the line was for product related inquiries and that she didn’t have a media contact number but she did have both a number for corporate 269-961-2000 and HR 1-877-694-7554 that she was kind enough to give me.

From there I called the Corporate number. The switchboard operator transferred me to the media relations department but before she did commented that while she had only fielded 2 calls on the subject her co-worker next to here was inundated with them with all but one call objecting to the move.

I reached the voice mail of the media contact leaving a message with both my phone number and email address seeking comment before this piece went live. As of this writing I have not been contacted by either method which means I didn’t get a chance to ask any questions concerning Kellogg’s statement on values. Here are some obvious ones they raise first about how the decision came to be:

Given that this was a very public move by a major corporation whose product is sold in practically every single town in every single state blue and red, what was the procedure that led to this decision.

Who made the initial suggestion for this move?

Was the company approached by an outside entity concerning Breitbart or was this raised internally?

How Much discussion went into making this decision.

How many people were involved in making this decision and when the decision was made was it reached unanimously?

Who drafted the initial statement and at how many levels was said statement approved before it was released to the media

Those are all statements concerning “cause”, I also have a few on “effect”

as Kellogg’s considers the breitbart sites to be inconsistent with their values, or as Hillary Clinton would say “Deplorable”, do they consider the 46 million readers of Breitbart site equally “deplorable” or inconsistent with the values of Kellogg’s?

Given that the former CEO of Breitbart now has a high position, some would say the most trusted position in the incoming Trump administration does their statement also mean that Kellogg’s considers the values of the incoming Trump administration and the voters who elected them, including in the state of Michigan inconsistent with the values espoused by Kelloggs?

Given that Breitbart.com is inconsistent with the values of Kelloggs will Kelloggs decide that readers and supporters of the Breitbart site need not apply for the positions offered at the site & promoted on Twitter under the Kellogg’s jobs site and that current readers of the Breitbart site employed by Kelloggs should consider finding other work?

And finally one on the aftermath of all of this

Given the rise of the #dumpkelloggs hashtag, the apparent large volume of calls complain and the apparent conclusion by conservatives on social media that their business is no longer desired by Kellogg’s and the implications that has for both the stock price and the bottom line for the company, what affirmative steps, if any, is the company planning to assure these very upset customers that they are valued members of the Kellogg’s customer community or do they plan to wait it out?

If I get a response before I leave for my overnight job I’ll include it here or in an update if any shows up after the post goes up.

Exit Question:  Isn’t this either a class action or a “hostile work environment” case just waiting to erupt on Kellogg’s?


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