Friday, February 9

Resigning For Others: Cartoon Network

Wow! Kudos for Harry R. Weber over at the Associated Press for breaking the news that, yes, indeed, the notion that all publicity is good publicity is dead. At least, that is the way I read it as Jim Samples, head of the Cartoon Network, resigned following a marketing stunt that caused a terrorism scare in Boston and led police to shut down bridges and send in the bomb squad.

According to the Associated Press, the announcement of Samples' resignation came in an internal memo to Cartoon Network staff members. He said that regretted what had happened and felt compelled to step down in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under his watch.

"It's my hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages," said Samples.

The resignation of Samples also follows the news that "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" demographic remains unchanged in the wake of the bomb scare. The cartoon averaged 386,000 viewers last week; 380,000 viewers a week prior. I suspect Samples may be the first, but not the last person or, perhaps, company to slip from sight over guerilla marketing gone wrong.

“Interference did the slimy Sony Ericsson campaign on the Empire State Building, and now this. But most importantly, the people they hired have zero remorse,” Buzz Marketing CEO and author Mark Hughes told Adotos, seeing it much the same way we did days ago.

Sure, Interference, Inc. apologized, but there comes a time when one wonders whether an apology is enough. You can usually tell by measuring the sincerity of the apology along with any course correction or offer of restitution. Isn't that right, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan? Oh right, we're saving that for Monday.

You two could learn a lot from Samples, who did the right thing, and in his case, it might not even have been necessary. With sincerity, good luck, Mr. Samples.

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1 comments:

Rich on 2/13/07, 11:42 AM said...

Famous Last Words:

"In crisis matters, the gods demand a sacrifice. The whole reason companies make a sacrifice is to make a story go away. If you drag it out, the resignation becomes part of an ongoing story instead of ending it. You need to move quickly." — Richard Levick, president and CEO of the crisis management company Levick Strategies in Washington, D.C., speaking to Forbes about Samples resignation.

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