JB Hi-Fi Apologises But Baying Public Will Want More Than That Says Expert

JB Hi-Fi Apologises But Baying Public Will Want More Than That Says Expert
SHARE
THIS



Yesterday’s outrage at retail chain JB Hi-Fi’s refusal to let a man with Down syndrome enter its store has seen the brand come under a roaring fire. Damage to the brand has “unquestionably” happened, said DDB Group Australia’s corporate communications director Melissa Simpson, and she believes the public will want more than just an apology from the company.

The news hit the headlines on Tuesday morning, after James Milne and his family went to go into a JB Hi-Fi store the day before. The security guard stopped Milne upon entering, believing he was someone on the banned entry list who also had a genetic disorder.

A post from Milne’s sister’s on her Facebook page, who documented the event, the security personnel reportedly said the two men “looked the same” despite Milne having different colour skin and hair.

The Facebook post was shared thousands of times with many media outlets picking up the story.

A petition was started, calling for the tech retail chain to apologise to the family and to do something about the treatment of consumers. JB Hi-Fi has since apologised and said it will overhaul its policies as a result, however no doubt the brand’s reputation is tarnished at the moment.

While Simpson says the apology is good, the public will want more.

“This was a very hard story to digest on many levels and my heart went out to the Milne family,” she told B&T. “Firstly  – I do acknowledge the steps JB CEO Richard Murray has taken with ‘unreservedly’ apologising and outreaching directly to the Milne family. The fact that Corporate do not accept or even try and justify this is a step in the right direction.

“However, the public will want more and the customer experience process across all touch points with a particular focus on staff training needs to be reviewed and shared.

“JB Hi-Fi need to ensure their core values filter through all levels of customer experience from security to management.”

Simpson said the company should release another statement outlining exactly what steps the brand is implementing to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

While there are multiple brand touch points consumers come into contact with, Jared Woods, social media manager at social agency History Will Be Kind, said it’s paramount brands remember to control every branded place.

“Retailers need to recognise that every consumer touch point has the potential to drive brand advocacy, as well as negative interactions,” he said.

No doubt social media played a role in pushing the story into the media’s attention, and with the speed in which it happens brands need to respond just as quickly, he suggested.

“Social media is definitely a part of this equation and without the proper customer service protocols in place across channels, incidents such as this can be quickly escalated. Brands need to respond with the same speed, and it is easier to improve touch point handling processes than look to fix an issue after it arises.”

If this story was prior social media, DDB’s Simpson believes it could have just been forgotten about in a community newspaper.

“Prior to social media the Milne family would have had to contact a tabloid or current affairs program and rely on a producer to deem it ‘newsworthy’. The most likely scenario is the story would have been buried deep within a community newspaper and would never have had the gravitas or power to evoke change on this scale.”

Image from Wikipedia Commons.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau branding language Bush Heritage Australia copyright McCann Sydney Ogilvy Taxis

Latest News

Majella Pinnuck Returns To Anna Whitlam People As Senior Associate, Executive Search, Corporate Affairs & Communications
  • Marketing

Majella Pinnuck Returns To Anna Whitlam People As Senior Associate, Executive Search, Corporate Affairs & Communications

To mark Majella Pinnuck’s return, AWP spoke to her about why she has come back, the hybrid that skills that today’s large organisations need in their corporate affairs and communications professionals, and the challenge of finding candidates with the right skillset. Pinnuck (pictured) started at AWP after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law […]

The MFA Launches A Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Advisory Council
  • Advertising
  • Media

The MFA Launches A Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Advisory Council

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council, consisting of 13 media agency professionals from diverse backgrounds, with the aim of providing guidance to the industry across all facets of diversity and inclusion. The MFA DE&I Advisory Council will promote the MFA’s ambition to build a diverse, equitable […]

Theory Crew Snares Four New Clients
  • Marketing

Theory Crew Snares Four New Clients

One month into the new financial year, Melbourne-based agency Theory Crew has won four new clients across the beauty and FMCG divisions. New clients include the gourmet fruit spread range from France St. Dalfour; organic tea range Higher Living, new to market Australian baby skincare range from Biophysics Group Avo Baby, and soon to be […]

SCA Appoints 2020 Brian White Scholarship Winner As Part Of Regional Investments
  • Media

SCA Appoints 2020 Brian White Scholarship Winner As Part Of Regional Investments

SCA has appointed Commercial Radio Australia Brian White Scholarship winner Zac De Silva (pictured) to its Albury newsroom as it invests in new talent for regional radio newsrooms nationwide. De Silva received the prestigious Brian White Scholarship in 2020 and completed a paid internship at SCA as part of the award. He is just one […]

Spinach Appointed By Property Developer Beulah
  • Marketing
  • Media

Spinach Appointed By Property Developer Beulah

Spinach has been appointed to manage the media strategy, buying and data capabilities for Australian property developer Beulah. The Melbourne-based developer has several projects in the works including STH BNK by Beulah, one of the most ambitious developments to be undertaken in Australia. With backing from the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee, the $2 […]

Digitas APAC Appoints Adrian Farouk To CEO
  • Media

Digitas APAC Appoints Adrian Farouk To CEO

Digitas, the Connected Marketing Agency, part of Publicis Groupe, has announced the promotion of Adrian Farouk as CEO of Digitas APAC. Farouk (pictured above) is currently CEO of Digitas & Epsilon ANZ, he will take on the new role with immediate effect whilst continuing his leadership at Epsilon, the group’s data and tech platform business […]

Magnite Confirms Australian Leadership Team
  • Media

Magnite Confirms Australian Leadership Team

Magnite (Nasdaq: MGNI), the world’s largest independent sell-side advertising platform, today announced that James Young will remain as Managing Director of Australia for Magnite following the acquisition of SpotX.

Sports Teams Unite In Latest Campaign Against Sports Bet Advertising
  • Campaigns

Sports Teams Unite In Latest Campaign Against Sports Bet Advertising

Major sporting clubs and local sporting leaders have united in response to community concern about the effect of prolific sports betting advertising on young people in the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s new Love the Game campaign. The ‘Join the club’ campaign includes elite and community level players and administrators, parents, kids, umpires and coaches from […]

The Monkeys ECD Vince Lagana Departs
  • Advertising

The Monkeys ECD Vince Lagana Departs

Monkeys ECD Vince Lagana has departed the agency, but not before helping himself to those lamb chops in the freezer.