A founder's dilemma (some answers)
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Last time I shared with you a Founder’s Dilemma about ditching Facebook, here. The question was:
“As an ethical company dedicated to positive environmental and social impact, should I advertise on Facebook, Instagram and Google when I believe those companies are not ethical themselves?
The problem is, I get 80% of my sales via those channels…”
The replies I got were terrific — some off-the-cuff gut instincts, some deeply thought through. Below is a selection of the best…
“I would say ultimately its more important long term to align your entire brand with causes you believe in even it means less sales in the short term. So ditch them and instead of Google, use Ecosia who plant a tree every time you use it… communicate all your intentions to your users and I am sure you will gain even more loyalty.”
“This is so tricky… The question is are there any effective means the founder can do this. Can they actually make this part of their campaign on Facebook / Insta? Eg ‘I would love to reach you by other means but I can’t at the moment… This is what I believe’. Would this fit with the brand narrative?”
“I don't think this a dilemma.... Previously, advertising in the Merdoch papers would have been the only option, or on ITV, or on Sky, which is Merdoch again. Merdoch was responsible for the phone hacking scandals, buying government faith and putting his own men into senior political positions. Today, our options are far better. Why are the companies listed not ethical? I think, too often, people see ethical and profitable as a contradiction. The New York Times is not more benign because it's more broke. If anything the opposite is true. My point is, aside from the Cambridge Analyitca scandal, and tax avoidance (wider policy issue that Govts need to solve), what's not to like? There is an immense public service provided by the big tech cos.”
“I suppose my advice would be that you need to tackle the world as it is, not as you wish it to be. Can you do more good harnessing FB/Google etc that will allow for better, lasting change in the long term? Sometimes you need to hold your nose...”
Thanks for all the contributions.
I hope the above was interesting and made you think. If you would like to share a challenge and get some feedback then the best way is to come to a meal with 9others — see the links above and here.