Adam Johnson, the Bullseye Brief author and former Bloomberg Television anchor, says that Kellogg’s is making a grave mistake by “taking their eye off the ball” and picking a political fight with Breitbart News at the behest of left-wing groups.
“Great American brands distinguish themselves by creating exceptional products and putting customers first. Everything else is a distraction,” he told Breitbart News earlier this week.
Kellogg’s has asked third-party advertisers not to allow its ads to run at Breitbart.com. Breitbart News has pushed back vigorously with the #DumpKelloggs campaign, creating a public relations challenge for Kellogg’s and for several other brands that have likewise capitulated to left-wing activist campaigns.
Thus far, over 375,000 people have signed Breitbart’s online petition against Kellogg’s.
Johnson said that Kellogg’s had blundered by allowing political debates to interfere with its focus on the consumer. He compared the Kellogg’s crisis to the controversy in 2013 when the Discovery Channel suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson over comments he made criticizing homosexuality. The channel suffered a ratings decline as a result.
“In the same way when the Discovery Channel tried to respond over Phil Robertson’s comments about homosexuality … If you take your eye off the ball, if you worry about politics and these other issues, as a consumer brand company, you’re going to lose one way or another.”
Johnson predicted that Kellogg’s might back down — if the financial damage of the backlash was great enough.
“They’ll only do it [back down] if they see that it costs them a lot of money … the difference with a consumer product is you won’t necessarily see sales figures for a while. Whereas Nielsen literally measures ratings every single hour every single day, so Discovery Channel was able instantly to quantify the damage to their business.”
“It’s a matter of whether Kellogg’s actually sees sales declines, and acknowledging them.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.