How has the UK Riots affected Marketing?

Has UK Riots Affected Marketing Strategies?

Has UK Riots Affected Marketing Strategies?

As the week of unrest comes to an end in the UK with a large clean-up bill, how are business marketing strategies affected?

Levi’s has decided to postpone its latest advertising campaign which was due to show on TV, in cinemas and on Facebook during August. The campaigns contain scenes which are similar to those seen in the riots, out of respect Levi have postponed the UK ads.

VisitBritain tourism authority have also decided to not go ahead with the video promoting Britain with the tag line ‘You’re Invited’ which were showing on BBC iPlayer overseas.  Although Tourists haven’t been affected by the riots, VisitBritain felt that “they are not appropriate at this time” – which I have to say I agree with.

The speculation is rife over how these riots started, however one thing that isn’t being argued is the fact that social media had a huge role to play in the riots – both for good and bad reasons. Social media channels have seen huge spikes during the riots with Twitter accounting for 1 in every 170 UK Internet Visits (Hitwise).

Blackberry has been under pressure to disable it’s BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) as it was revealed to be the rioters primary means of communications. Is this fair? Why should companies suffer? The majority of people who use this service are normal law abiding citizens, BlackBerry didn’t cause the riots or support the riots in anyway. If BBM didn’t exist the riots would have still happened – the rioters would have just used another form of communication.

UK Riots

UK Riots

Although the rioters used social media networks to stay connected and plan their next moves, social media has also helped bring communities together with #RiotCleanup becoming the top trending subject. Communities rallied together to clean up the mess left by the rioters and looters – this makes you proud to be British – these are the images we should be using! Also, the Met Police have uploaded pictures onto social media sites in order to capture the perpitrators, which has proved to be a successful strategy.

Some businesses have been affected directly from the riots and looting whilst others have had to postpone their marketing campaigns which have cost time and money. However, there are some companies that are trying to use the riots to help promote their brands! A new start-up business ‘Love Da Popcorn’, who featured on last week’s Dragon’s Den episode were caught tweeting, “Guys there’s enough popcorn for everyone you don’t need to go looting. #dragonsden #riot”. Was this a crass comment or was it a lighthearted marketing campaign?

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