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Marketers wade into protests
Protesters demonstrate against the the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis, Friday, May 29, 2020, in New York.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Protests are sweeping the nation as rage over police brutality boils over. The coronavirus pandemic has left more than 100,000 US dead. Millions are anxious, depressed, and out of work.For marketers, it’s also a terrible time. Why advertise when people aren’t receptive to your message, or worse, might resent it?The economy and buying will come back eventually. But as Lauren Johnson and I reported, companies are in a Catch-22. People expect them to stand for something besides the products they sell, and live up to it.But the protests are more emotionally charged than other social issues companies have attached themselves to, and many consumer companies owe their success to the black community, raising expectations on them to support that same community now.
So when companies support protesters and denounce racism while permitting racist messages to spread (Facebook) or mistreat workers (Amazon), those companies risk …
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