Yesterday one of the owners, Guido Barilla, of the pasta brand Barilla said in a radio show that the company would never do a commercial with a gay couple because they believe in traditional values. He also said that if the gays did not like it, they might as well buy their pasta some were else.
It is no understatement when I say that customers all over the world just started doing that. Soon people showed there loyalty with the message that love should be for everyone, and spreading there concerns with #barillaboycott. People have other choices and can and will change what what they have in the pantry.
As it is easy to access other information about the company and with the transparency of today, Barilla boycotters also discuss other brands in the Barilla group.
This makes it very easy for competitors and underdogs to branch out and market them self as the company with the values of a modern and outgoing brand.
Barillas lost are others profit.
Therefor Guido Barilla was quick to apologize
With social media these kinds of matters move rapidly and what you think is a local matter is soon engaged by the world. It can go from local to global in matters of hours.
And secondly, people does not make it there concern to find out what your really meant, what your core values are, or what is or is not taken out of its context. They will, and have the right to judge you for your flaws and they dont mind taking their business some were else. Specially when they feel that they can choose between the good and the bad.
Maybe there will be some people making this only a matter for one day or two, and maybe they will find some new interest in couple of days. But one thing is sure, you will have to put some effort and money in your communications strategy to convince not only the consumers back, but also to clean off this stain you just put on your brand.
Barilla Group I welcome you to the new way of doing business. That you say matters, and it will surely matter in your wallet.