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Why Buying Forgiveness Doesn’t Work

From Adele Cehrs, writing in Ragan’s PRDaily:

Several large companies have taken out expensive ads apologizing for bad behavior.

Over the last year, Samsung, Under Armour and Deutsche Bank have all issued full-page mea culpas in prestigious publications. Reasons include missteps by a spokesperson, an attempt to control the narrative and choosing to avoid a social media dialogue with consumers.

Though one-way communication might seem like a good short-term solution, long-term brand perception shows otherwise.

In late 2016, Samsung recalled its defective Galaxy Note 7 phones. The company ran a full-page apology letter, signed by its chief executive, inThe Wall Street Journal, New York Times and The Washington Post.

Samsung seemed sincere and appropriately contrite, but consumer confidence remains shaken. A Branding Brand survey of 1,000 U.S. Samsung phone owners revealed that 40 percent would not buy another phone from the company.

In Under Armour’s case, the CNBC interview in which Kevin Plank voiced his support for President Donald Trump deflected attention from negative fourth-quarter earnings and a pending shareholder lawsuit.

The timing was suspicious, and Under Armour’s apology ad in The Baltimore Sun felt teed up and ready to go. The Under Armour “crisis” came off like a planned business tactic to divert attention from the company’s problems.

For the rest of this piece, click here.



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