Advertisers learn that everything is partisan


By Sapna Maheshwari, New York Times

In today’s political climate, even pizza, bourbon and coffee can be partisan issues.

A year after the presidential election, a range of advertisers are learning that it doesn’t take much — sometimes just a single Twitter post — to land them in the middle of a social media firestorm that splits along party lines. In some cases, they land there even if they’ve done nothing. And it has become clear in the past month that long-used strategies for how brands should respond to the ensuing outrage may need rewriting.

Last month, people shared videos of themselves destroying Keurig coffee machines after the company said it would pull ads from Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, a decision based on the supportive comments the host made about Roy Moore, the embattled Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama. This month, the hashtag #BoycottJimBeam emerged after actress Mila Kunis, a spokeswoman for the liquor company since 2014, said on “Conan” that she has been donating to Planned Parenthood under Vice President Mike Pence’s name in a form of “peaceful protest.”

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