In October 2018, Cerveza Indio launched an advertising campaign that, although it was intended to give a message of inclusion, ended up generating strong criticism in social networks. The campaign sought to change the negative connotation of the word “Indian” through influencers , making a play on words between the name of the beer and the phrase “Indian pinche”. The problem was that the influencers who carried out the campaign have Caucasian factions and have never faced being called “Indian pinche” because of their physical appearance. This triggered strong criticism, memes and even debates around the phenomenon of racism.
Independent of racial issues, the campaign had good intentions, but it was materialized in a wrong way, which caused a crisis in the reputation of the brand. This brings us to the phenomenon of activism in social networks. Today, social networks allow society to organize itself either to face dictatorial regimes, as in the case of the Arab Spring, as to demonstrate for or against brands and products. Social networks have allowed ordinary citizens to empower themselves and this has to lead organizations, governmental or business, to modify the way they relate to their public / citizenship.
The risk analysis for any organization starts with clear objectives that it wants to achieve in the short, medium and long term. In the case of an advertising campaign it is the same, starting with what I wanted to achieve Cerveza Indio with this campaign, I could have made a study of everything that could go wrong; that is, the risks he faced in order not to achieve those objectives.
The current state of mind of social networks has to make organizations more aware that any error in their management can be magnified, particularly if they talk about policy issues or discrimination. Let’s not talk about discrimination for physical appearance to those who have never faced such discrimination, for example.
These damages to the reputation of organizations can be mitigated with proper risk management and crisis management. In Political Risks, we recommend that organizations define their aversion to risk, to then make decisions about how to achieve their business objectives. In the case of Cerveza Indio there were two options:
- Define yourself as a company with high risk aversion and do not champion social causes.
- Define as a company with low risk aversion in the defense of social causes, but with adequate monitoring of the design of its advertising campaigns.
The struggles of social claim represent an opportunity to expand into new markets, since, in addition to helping, generate density in social networks. But social struggles are fraught with risks. If an organization decides that its values allow it to champion these causes, they have to perform an analysis of the risks involved and have mechanisms to mitigate crises if they materialize.
At Riesgos Políticos, SC, we can help your company establish effective mechanisms for risk management and crisis management. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .