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January 28, 2022

The Morning Rant - Woke Corporate PR Campaigns As Purposeful Distractions From Ugly Problems

You probably heard that M&M’s are going woke. Or more specifically, that there is a PR campaign underway trumpeting the new progressive wokeness of M&Ms.

M and M -1.JPG

M&M characters redesigned for a “more dynamic, progressive” world, Mars announces

Why would the Mars candy company launch a left-wing political campaign around its popular confection when a growing number of Americans are sick and tired of wokeness? Let’s face it, just about the only people left who still actively embrace wokeism are the sustainable, organic scolds who shop at Whole Foods. And they’re not going to buy M&Ms, even if the redesigned green M&M was organic and danced on the American flag while waving a BLM banner in her new “laid back sneakers.”

So why is Mars doing this PR stunt about M&Ms? Stick with me to the end and I’ll show you the probable reason.

When a brand is dealing with a PR nightmare, perhaps due to irreversible consumer rejection of its product, or possibly due to a specific crisis, rolling out a woke ad campaign will get it a lot of love and a lot of free publicity from the same media that might otherwise be reveling in its bad news.

Gillette (Proctor & Gamble) didn’t run its 2019 ad campaign accusing their core customers of being bullies and predators because they thought it would increase sales. They ran that campaign to change the story from Gillette’s prolonged, irreversible market share collapse, and the resulting $8 billion charge-off that P&G was about to incur later that year.

Do you remember last summer when Megan Rapinoe was hired by Victoria’s Secret? She is one of the ugliest people in America, and I’m not talking about her looks. She is widely despised for her serial vulgarity, which includes dancing on the American flag in one victory celebration, and this little gem at a soccer victory parade in New York: “Hide your kids, hide your wife, and lock your f---ing doors. I’m coming for all y’all bitches.”

Rapinoe flag.JPG

Victoria’s Secret was owned by L Brands at the time. What was L Brands thinking? Well, Victoria’s Secret had closed nearly 250 stores in 2020, and in February 2021, parent company L Brands announced that it would permanently close between 30 to 50 more U.S. locations.

Oh by the way, do you know who headed L Brands? Les Wexner, who had close ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Sales were collapsing, stores were closing, and the head of the company had odious ties to Epstein.

Time for some free, favorable PR from the leftist media! Time for Megan Rapinoe!

How about Subway? It was a struggling sandwich chain, with mass store closures and plummeting sales, and still stung by the scandal* of its former pitchman Jared Fogle. [*Look it up if you don’t know the story. I don’t even want to type those words.]

So what did Subway do? They brought in Megan Rapinoe! She might be an awful person from whom you need to hide your wife and kids, but she certainly found her advertising niche – spokesperson for fading companies in the midst of an ongoing PR crisis, and desperately in need of sympathetic coverage from the woke mass media.

The sad part is that unlike Victoria’s Secret stores, Subway stores are franchises owned by individuals. The Rapinoe gimmick caused consumer backlash, hurting the stores even more. Subway franchisees are fed up with Megan Rapinoe’s TV ads (NY Post – 8/06/2021)

So let’s circle back to the Mars candy company and its M&M product. With a decidedly non-woke customer base, and little hope of getting wokesters to buy its chocolate, what might be the motivation for a woke PR campaign?


Nestle, Mars and Hersey accused of ‘using child labour to get cheap cocoa’ in new court papers (Independent – 11/01/2021)

Most companies do not want their names used in connection with African slave labor, so headlines like this have got to sting.

Mars, Nestlé and Hershey to face child slavery lawsuit in US

M and M - 2.JPG

The good news for Big Chocolate is that the Supreme Court recently ruled that US courts are not the venue for lawsuits about the use of African child slave labor, but the rejection of the United States as the venue does not refute the awful allegations.

The woke M&M campaign now makes perfect sense, and it’s working too. The media is already gushing over the progressive image makeover of M&Ms.

And if this doesn’t fully inoculate Mars/M&M from bad press, they have one more card they can play. They can bring in Megan Rapinoe as their new spokesperson.

[buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com]

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posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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