Marketing genius Professor Mark Ritson has spoken out in defence of Adidas on Linkedin, which has turned into an absolute blood bath in the comments section.
Ritson boldly decided to weigh in on the Adidas saga.
Adidas has cut ties with Kanye West after he made numerous anti-Semitic comments. However, the brand is still being roasted online for failing to end the relationship sooner.
Adidas didn’t drop Kanye West to stand against anti-semitism.
They dropped him because their stock was falling hard and an analyst told them to in order to salvage their stock value they needed to drop him.
Nothing heroic about what they did.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) October 25, 2022
Ritson took to Linkedin to criticise people who quickly criticised and wrote the brand off.
In a post, he wrote: “Can we give Adidas some slack? So many comments today say that the company has damaged its brand by taking days to condemn Kanye West.
“The company has done the right thing. It has issued an uncompromising condemnation of West’s antisemitism. It has clearly spoken up against all forms of hate speech. It has severed its links with West and withdrawn all the YEEZY products – at a cost of $250 million this year and for many future years.
“Too many people suggesting that Adidas has hurt its brand because of the delay between West’s comments and its actions. That’s bullshit on a number of levels. Brands aren’t that fallible. Consumers aren’t that stupid.
“And it takes TIME to make an enormously significant move like this. The company had to do a proper review and then follow the proper protocols to enact a massive change of strategy.”
As always, the drama goes down in the comments section. Ritson was so fired up over the matter that he fought with industry heavyweights and some industry lightweights over it.
Jonathan Goldmacher, who made a name for himself at R/GA, commented: “Brand reputations take years to build and seconds to destroy.”
Ritson replied: “They don’t. It is one of the great cliches of modern marketing. Brand reputations take years to build and are very hard to destroy.”
Tom Rado, the media lead at network3rd+Digital, wrote, “Hey, Mark Ritson. So how comes it took Nike one day?
“Even your former employer, Tag Heuer, was involved in this one. I’ll be keenly waiting for a reason why Adidas took fifteen days, and Nike took one.”
Ritson hit back and wrote: “Because for the 10th time. Maria Sharapova was a brand endorser. She was not…
a) Responsible for Product
b) A subbrand of the company
c) 10% of revenues
d) 200 employees
e) Tied up in the operations of the parent company
“Why are you so intent on giving Adidas a hard time? Is it not possible to venerate both Tag Heuer and Adidas for making the right choice and doing it firmly and clearly? Your shot in the dark is just that.”
Matt Nitzberg, a growth strategist at Network3rd+, commented: “You’re close to “say what you want about Hitler, he killed Hitler” territory. Timing matters, and they had the opportunity to denounce him immediately, even if they wanted to run pro-formas and read employee sentiment for “with him” vs. “without him” scenarios to make a calculated decision.
“He’s not cancelled, and neither is Adidas; they’re experiencing consequences.
Rixon replied: “Sorry, too busy polishing my SS memorabilia down in my bunker to reply at the moment.”
In total, the post has almost 500 comments.
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