Cancel Culture: Part 3 – What Are the Implications?

Threats and Solutions to Protect Your Brand

5 mins read

This article examines what the implications of cancel culture are on current businesses and potentially your own.

Cancel culture is happening to businesses of every size, impacting companies’ cultures, financials and creating legal concerns; it is even costing employees their jobs. This all can happen without any relevant proof that an indiscretion has occurred. Join us in part 3 of our series as we discuss what are the implications of cancel culture happening to you?

The old days of making an appointment or sending a letter to speak to the leader of an organization to air your concerns are now just a memory. The rise of social media has given everyday people a pulpit and venue to not only speak directly to corporations and institutions but preach to an audience that previously would have been impossible for them to reach. This has resulted in anyone now being able to voice their opinions on products, or actions by executives and advertising; their goal is ultimately an attempt to force change. We have seen several examples of this recently when “Aunt Jemima,” was cancelled for promoting racist stereotypes and “Uncle Ben’s Rice” was changed to “Ben’s.”

Some other brands that were targeted by cancel culture:

  • Nike: Created a shoe that included a print with the original U.S. flag. The flag only has 13 stars and was used during the period when slavery was legal.
  • Pepsi: Boycotted for running an advertisement that appropriated global protest movements including Black Lives Matters.
  • Starbucks: Targeted for creating a rule that employees could not wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts and badges while at work.
  • Equinox: A United States gym brand, was targeted when it was revealed that the owner was a Trump supporter and had held a fundraiser.

What are the implications for your business?

As seen above there are a wide variety of reasons companies can fall into the scope of cancel culture. When a brand or individual becomes a target, the implications can be severe:

  • Boycotting and protesting products
  • Insisting advertisers eliminate financial support or cancelling advertising contracts
  • Silencing a brand or individual through social media bullying
  • Ruining an executive’s online reputation, search engine results, and career
  • Ruining an individual or employee’s reputation resulting in the loss of their career, income, and way of life
  • Damaging and destroying a brands reputation
  • Publicly withdrawing financial, political and social support for brands
  • Business closure

This is even more severe when cancel culture goes after private citizens and small business owners, which is also a form of cyberbullying, harassment, and defamation. It is important to understand the legal implications and your options when Internet users defame individuals on social media. Please speak with a lawyer if you feel you or your business has fallen under attack from cancel culture.

Cancel Culture can be a scary and potentially life changing event for a business. On the bright side, like most business there are steps you can take to prepare for if/when cancel culture comes knocking at your door. Join us for Part 4 in our series as we discuss how to create a plan of prevention.

This is even more severe when cancel culture goes after private citizens and small business owners, which is also a form of cyber-bullying, harassment, and defamation. It is important to understand the legal implications and your options when Internet users defame individuals on social media. Please speak with a lawyer if you feel you or your business has fallen under attack from cancel culture.

Cancel Culture can be a scary and potentially life changing event for a business. On the bright side, like most business there are steps you can take to prepare for if/when cancel culture comes knocking at your door. Join us for Part 4 in our series as we discuss how to create a plan of prevention.

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