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“Duck Dynasty” star suspended over controversial comments

Published December 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

A & E’s surprise hit “Duck Dynasty” follows the lives of a Louisiana family made wealthy by their unique brand of duck lures. The show has been a rousing success for the network, with the fourth season premiere drawing in just under 12 million viewers en route to becoming the most watched nonfiction cable telecast in history.

That’s in all in danger of unraveling now that A&E has decided to suspend one of the show’s stars indefinitely.

Phil Robertson, the 73 year-old patriarch of the family that the show follows, made a series of controversial statements regarding homosexuality in an interview with GQ magazine. The network responded by yanking him from the show, which is set to premiere its fifth season in less than a month.

The entire incident is a salient example of how important it is to be careful when it comes to cross-promotional marketing.

Robertson, presumably, gave the interview to GQ in hopes of promoting his show, giving fans insight into his life and introducing his brand to an audience that might have been unfamiliar.

It isn’t unlike a company that comes up with direct mail ideas that will draw in a new customer base, as well as provide some value for existing consumers. However, in doing so he made a misstep that could threaten the success of his entire business.

The same is true for any other company seeking to drum up support. Using exactly the right tone and messaging is a critical component of accurately targeted marketing. If you get it wrong, you could wind up ruffling quite a few feathers.

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