April 23, 2019 – Open letter to:
Vice President & General Manager – South Pacific, Colgate Palmolive Pty Ltd
RE WITHDRAWAL OF ADVERTISING, SKY NEWS CHANNEL –
Your twitter announcement that you are withdrawing your advertising from Sky News is evidently part of the campaign by the activist gang Sleeping Giants against Sky News.
Your public explanation of the reasons for your decision might begin one of two ways:
1 “We agree with the values and opinions of Sleeping Giants and their ilk and wish to shut down the Sky News network. We no longer wish to operate in a democratic society.”
2 “We don’t agree with the values and opinions of Sleeping Giants and their ilk but have caved in to their bullying.”
Either way, your company’s decision to withdraw advertising from Sky News reflects badly on your management. I suspect that detailing how a large company of such widespread success as CP could so easily succumb to a small but noisy group would be profoundly embarrassing. Did you think this decision would show your corporate virtue? It shows your corporate confusion. What is your mission?
Advertising is primarily intended to put money in the advertiser’s pocket, in a symbiotic and beneficial relationship with a free media. It is not intended to be used as socio-political engineering and I am hopeful that your poorly conceived decision will be severely punished at the marketplace. Your decision is un-Australian – and it casts a shadow over your legitimacy as a business.
Your decision casts a shadow over your social licence to sell products to ALL Australians. You have foisted a political flag over all your employees and shareholders.
Of course you have every right to advertise where you think you should. But this decision is not an advertising decision, is it? It’s shoving the company into the political arena. So be it; your politics will now inform the buying decisions of fair minded Australians and I will do my best to make sure they know what they are buying when it has your company’s name on it: anti-democratic tendencies and moral cowardice in a package. The active ingredient in your toothpaste is the creepy Sleeping Giants.
Perhaps the worst aspect of your acquiescence is that it is based on an observably false narrative that Sky News is a bigoted, harmful media player. Sky News is the most politically fair, factually reliable and even-handed tv news outlet in Australia. I watch it (for professional purposes) on average 4 – 6 hours a day. Do you even watch it?
Just because other companies have made similarly poor decisions to play a social engineering role doesn’t mean you should. Seek a better toothpaste. If you wish to go into politics, seek preselection.