With all the attention on inappropriate and disturbing actions over the past few years, large corporations have become much more cautious on messaging. That’s what makes a report from yesterday a bit disturbing. Thanks to Mike P for bringing this to my attention.
Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola teamed up on some pretty creepy cocktail napkins recently, as evidenced by this Tweet:
The napkins included text such as, “be a little old school, write down your number & give it to your plane crush, you never know….”
USA Today has quote from Delta that seems to indicate they know they missed the mark on this one:
“We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one,” Delta Air Lines said in the statement to USA TODAY. “We are sorry for that and began removing the napkins from our aircraft in January.”
Coca Cola echoed the sentiments with its own statement:
“We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended. We worked with our partners at Delta to begin removing the napkins last month and are replacing them with other designs.”
The Final Two Pennies
This one falls clearly under “know your audience”. I’m a pretty sarcastic and irreverent sort of guy. I could see an instance where I would make this joke like this amongst friends. But, I just can’t imagine being comfortable with broadcasting this message to my customers. As a business person, I frequently come across instances where I need to approve or collaborate on marketing materials. 10 or 20 years ago, racy comments like that were much more commonplace. Back then, I could have seen something like that getting approved as a marketing message. Today, not so much. It’s good to see Delta and Coke quickly react on this, but it’s a bit of a head scratcher that these napkins made it all the way to planes before someone questioned the outcome.
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