November 15, 2011

There has been so much written about the Penn State child sex scandal that I certainly don’t need to add anymore. There have also been plenty of articles and books about the importance of protecting your brand. So, here’s my question for today: How important is protecting a brand to you? Unfortunately, in 30+ years in marketing I have seen first-hand numerous examples of what I call “situational ethics” … i.e. “Well it’s wrong, but in this case, it’s not that wrong when you look at the consequences to our company.”

So, as we all profess righteous indignation about Penn State, the question you should be asking at your next marketing meeting is: “How far would you go to protect your brand?” Think about it. Think about it before others begin to think about it. I believe John Romano, a St. Petersburg Florida sports writer (http://www.tampabay.com/writers/john-romano), summed it up the best:

What were they thinking? That’s the question yet to be answered by the football coach, the athletic director and the Penn State administrators who had apparently known for years about Jerry Sandusky’s creepy admission that he had taken showers with small boys, and were now being told that his perversions were actually far worse. And still they did not call police.

So when you wonder what they were thinking, you might want to start there. For these people protect their own. They protect their brand
name. They protect their image, and they protect anything that might interfere with the scoreboard. Apparently, they are willing to protect it at any cost.”

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