Tis the Season for Bad Cause Marketing


I couldn't make up this stuff if I tried. I found these two examples of bad cause marketing on the same day! That's a first.

As first reported in Nonprofit Quarterly, a New Mexico company sponsored a Coyote Kill Contest this weekend, saying that half the proceeds will go to the Children’s Outdoor Adventure Association. According to the contest organizers, the nonprofit takes kids with cancer, disabilities, etc. on outdoor adventures.

A noble mission, but maybe a catch-and-release fishing contest  would be less offensive.

The other example of bad cause marketing comes from WalmartNPR reported on Monday that an Ohio Walmart was doing something wonderful: hosting a Thanksgiving food drive for needy families. The bad news is that it was for Walmart employees. A Cleveland newspaper asked the question: "Is the food drive proof the retailer pays so little that many employees can't afford Thanksgiving dinner?"

Walmart's half-measures are reminiscent of the post I wrote on McDonald's last week. Despite slapping their name on every Ronald McDonald House in the world, McDonald's only funds five to twenty percent of operating costs for these houses. Where's the beef?

Instead of giving Walmart and McDonald's a halo, this cause marketing says that both companies need to give everyone around them a raise. That's not a great strategy for getting on anyone's nice list.

Related Pinterest Board: Bad Cause Marketing