Tobacco in an irresponsible marketing death spiral

Tobacco companies in an irresponsible marketing death spiral
This week, tobacco companies were dealt a blow when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing lawsuits to proceed under state law for deceptive advertising of “light” cigarettes.

Tobacco companies are now in what I call an irresponsible marketing death spiral:

The proliferation of traditional and social media have created millions of professional and private corporate watchdogs. Irresponsible marketers may be able to run, but they can’t hide.

When irresponsible marketers are caught, the U.S. legal system rewards companies, individuals and attorneys that prosecute said marketers for their actions.

Of course, controversy sells, so traditional and social media will document every step and misstep as the company attempts to respond.

Competitors gain traction as the distracted irresponsible marketing is forced to shift time, money and other resources to defending itself and/or working to mend it’s broken brand.

The company dies a slow, painful death.

Okay, not every marketing misstep will result in a class action lawsuit, boycott, movement or campaign against a company.

It’s usually more subtle than that, as customers and prospects respond with their pocketbooks—and their voices.

Truth, authenticity and transparency are no longer optional, folks.

Responsible Marketing is what the people want. One way or another they are going to get it.

Which other companies (or industries) are entering an irresponsible marketing death spiral now?

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