So it wasn’t unusual to meet halfway in Chicago, playing tourist in 2013 over a long summer weekend.
There we adjourned to a restaurant whose menu offered sandwiches called Boston Bombers.
No big deal, right? After all, the Bronx Bombers are how folks typically refer to the NY Yankees. And the Boston Red Sox that year were on track to later win baseball’s World Series.
So obviously the sandwich was an homage to the baseball team.
The wrinkle? The bombing three months earlier at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured hundreds. Our friends’ feelings were still raw over the incident, and their teenage daughter was quite irate at the callous attitude of the restaurant’s owner.
This bombing and subsequent manhunt had made global headlines, so the restaurateur couldn’t realistically plead ignorance. And desktop publishing capabilities easily enabled inexpensive reprinting of the menus.
So I can only assume the owner concluded his clientele wouldn’t care. But in 2013 the economy was still crawling out of the depths of the 2008 recession; could anyone afford to test that theory?
Political correctness means sensitivity to others, translating into good business practices. Nobody sells Hitler Hero sandwiches. You can’t find Mussolini brand mozzarella.
Every ethnic and demographic group has had hatreds heaped on it, and any business interested in growing must understand these feelings or risk losing business from that group’s sympathizers.
After all, a “Jack the Ripper” on rye might taste good…but it’s still in poor taste.
Two things to consider regarding items you sell:
- Whatever the source of your news, certain stories are universally known; and
- Customers come from everyplace, and you won’t get their business by offending them.
Defamatory words for any ethnic group are out as product names. If you’re serious about growing your business, set your personal biases aside and remember that money isn’t gay, Jewish, female, etc.
Finally, pay attention to the news and adjust your product or company names to better reflect realities of the world around us. I know the news comes at us like water from a fire hose, but you’re better off using that information to start conversations than to end sales.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Get help with your marketing details at www.askmrmarketing.com.