In today’s age of outrage culture, getting involved in politics is the last marketing strategy any business should attempt. Is there any better way to alienate half your customers, regardless of the stance you take? Probably not.
The most recent exhibit in “why you never want your business to take a political stance” comes in the form of Lady Grey Jewelry. The company is run by two college friends, Jill Martinelli and Sabrine Le Guyader, and sells online and through a few dozen luxury retailers. According to their website, their customers have included Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Elimia Clarke – and now – Ivanka Trump.
Ivanka had placed an order for a piece of jewelry, and the two founders felt the need to send a personal note along with it, which they posted to their Instagram page.
Martinelli told NY Mag that “While we were flattered to receive an order from Ivanka Trump, our social and political views couldn’t be further from those of the Trump campaign,” Martinelli said. “When we received her order, we instantly felt compelled to take the money and donate it to a few organizations that were more aligned with our ideals.” If only Hillary Clinton was as concerned with where her money came from as these two girls.
It’s pretty hard to say you’re taking a “political stance” when this was obviously only posted to their Instagram account with the end goal of making money, and that motive probably backfired. There was no shortage of Tweets from those denouncing the letter, to the point where Lady Grey closed off their Twitter account to the public.
The Instagram comments were overwhelmingly negative, as well. “So someone helps your profit margin and this is how you respond? You are ignorant, rude and ungracious to say the least. I will never purchase anything from you,” read one comment. Another reads “Very unprofessional. Do you even realize Ivanka is a registered independent?”
I doubt they realized that too. I’m glad the money they received from Ivanka was wasted on organizations that will never accomplish anything.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]