Lars Voedisch, Founder and Managing Director of PRecious Communications was featured in Marketing Interactive’s ‘Branding News’ section on May 29, 2019, in an article titled ‘Netflix threatens to pull investment in Georgia if the anti-abortion bill passes’. One of the most reputed media companies in the world, Netflix, is among the first of many who have a strong stand against anti-abortion laws in Georgia, which is favoured by most filmmakers for its tax incentives. The company’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, went on to say that they might “rethink” its entire investment if the bill is passed.
Here is Lars’ comment as featured in Marketing Magazine’s article ‘Netflix threatens to pull investment in Georgia if the anti-abortion bill passes’
“The move by Netflix is also not surprising, as it is in tune with the expectations of its audience, which comprises mostly of millennials and younger. One potential reason why other studios or networks kept hush about the issue is that their audience is more traditional, and television is still bigger than streaming in the United States.”
“In 2019, we are witnessing a growing number of brands no longer being apolitical. Brands can no longer afford to take the path of least resistance.”
Why Are We Talking About Netflix and Georgia’s Anti-Abortion Bill?
For as long as we can remember, brands have always chosen to stay out of social and political debates. This is due to the fear of losing out on sections of their customer base. While that has worked for a long time, times have changed now.
With the advent of social media, heated conversations dominate newsfeeds, and silence from brands is certainly not appreciated. According to a 2018 survey conducted by social media management and analytics company, Sprout Social titled “Championing Change in the Age of Social Media”, most consumers would like brands to speak up on social and political issues. That means staying neutral is no longer advised.
But again, before you express your views, it is important to understand that you might not win over everyone. What is most significant here is that if you choose to keep mum, you are most likely to anger passionate consumers on both sides of any discussion.
And yes, make sure you speak out on issues that resonate with your brand! In the case of Netflix, this stance is genuinely justified since a large number of women working on brand productions in Georgia are likely to be impacted.
In a nutshell, it is the brands that understand their customers, and provide genuine and thoughtful responses on such issues of importance, will thrive!