Paul,

In light of what’s been happening with howls of anger following the high-tailing of poorly-behaved Influencers in response to the requirements to shelter in place, and even more publicly, Jared the Pedophile using his Subway money to indulge his side gigs, this piece is probably the biggest of all. Big companies with carefully-crafted public images like Godiva and Target, are going to have to carefully reconsider the very public and very band behavior and judgement of one Influencer in particular. See:

Influencers and celebs can be terrible, lasting, brand-killing risks. I don’t believe Subway ever recovered. Other brands are having to really carefully re-assess the risks associated with any given Influencer, such as the woman who split from New York and may well have carried the virus with her. She had her supporters, but the outcry was brutal. Among them my voice, for she was in my sphere of travel. And she crapped publicly in the river.

Here’s some of the outcome of that:

To say the least, I was among those who left less-than-appreciative feedback on her thread. She apparently tested positive and spread the damn thing wherever she traveled. She also negotiated access to testing (the white, rich “worried well”) when she had no business doing so. It’s an unholy mess.

To say that this social parasite is a poor choice for Target and Godiva is a massive understatement. It’s my honest guess that corporations, after watching this kind of incomprehensibly stupid behavior of rich white people exercising their rich white privileges and then putting thousands of others at risk, are doing to be having some very serious conversations about vetting future so-called influencers before contracts get signed. I seriously doubt this particular “covidiot” is going to have her book deal signed.

You can tell that I’m still angry about this particular cretin, as well as others who have grossly misused their power.

When I got celebrity endorsements for my brand new book I chose very carefully. Once A CEO’s name is on your book cover, it takes a lot to get it off. If I had been able to get Robert Kraft’s name on my book, I’d have been less than chuffed when Kraft later got busted in a prostitution ring. Thank god I chose more carefully.

Nobody is free of human frailty. The question is whether any given celeb or influencer has the moral backbone to behave in an honorable way and not cost you or a corporation goodwill. Why is that important? Because goodwill can be worth billions. to wit:

Brand is an essential part of that goodwill. A celebrity can cost a corporation billions, and your brand your very lifeblood if it’s the wrong one.

Sorry about the length of this. I think that you’ve got a really, really important topic, and one that begs further development particularly in light of our conditions, which in so many areas of business is forcing us to ask w very different set of questions. Important ones. as in, what exactly is for sale, other than the integrity of what our brand stands for? and in light of that, who can we trust with that brand?

Subway found out the hard way.

Long response to your snippet. Sorry about that. I hope you expand on this topic.To my mind it’s a lot more important these days than ever.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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