“Social media drives the narrative. It also empowers the consumer, the fan. It gives them a megaphone that they never had before.” — David E. Johnson, CEO/Strategic Vision
Robertson, you may recall, was on suspension for remarks he made in GQ in regards to homosexuals and African-Americans nearly a week ago.
During his suspension, which was supposed to be “indefinite,” his family members (who co-star on the show with him) threatened to walk unless he was brought back.
These actions bring some serious questions to light, mainly: What does this say about the Duck Dynasty brand, where do they go from here, and what lessons can be learned from this?
When EURweb publisher Lee Bailey got an invitation to interview public relations and branding expert David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC, to put answers to some of these questions, he jumped on the opportunity. Johnson, after all, has appeared on CNN, CNBC, FOX News Channel, and CBS for his expertise.
Below are some specific points covered in the interview, followed by audio of the interview in its entirety.
“Basically, nobody apologized in this scenario. What we saw was A&E basically backed down from their suspension and brought back Duck Dynasty,” states Johnson.”The sponsors for Duck Dynasty were staying behind the brand. Under Armour and others said that they respected Phil Robertson – they might disagree with some of his statements, but they were not backing down. They stood with the brand of Duck Dynasty and with Phil Robertson.
“Social media just became engulfed with petitions, threats of boycotts of A&E. Online we saw it reach into the millions, numbers, that A&E felt that they really had no alternative and Duck Dynasty is their #1 show; and the family had said that if Phil Robertson wasn’t part of the show…they, the family, who are also his co-stars, would walk away from the show.”
Johnson says A&E was faced with three hardcore challenges: “backlash from the fans, sponsors who were standing behind Duck Dynasty and the threat of potentially losing the show.”
“So as a result they backed down. They blinked.”
Bailey then asks if Robertson should have been suspended in the first place?
Johnson’s response and the rest of this article (as well as the full audio interview) continues at EURThisNThat.