Tag Archives: British Airways

BA needs to make a Big Apology?

15 Jan

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Today there have been four official judgements made on discrimination over religious beliefs in the workplace. Of those four, just one went in favour of Christianity. And it’s not causing the Twitter storm I’d expected.

I’m even more surprised that Tweeters are taking this opportunity to condemn Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane and every other Christian ‘causing a fuss’ saying they’re the same people ‘trying to ban me from wearing skirts at work’.

Tweeters aside, I think it’s the employers – such as global airline British Airways – involved in today’s court hearings that are going to have to work very hard to prove that their ‘corporate images’ were worth be dragged through the courts. BA especially since 2006. (BA amended its policy in 2007 to accept employees wearing symbols of faith.) I can’t see in any way how crosses, or any other faith symbol, affects the type of service it should be delivering to meet customers’ needs.

It’s sad because after its brilliant ‘To Fly. To Serve‘ campaign and gold-medal attempt during the Olympics, persuading people to stay at home and cheer on Team GB, the BA brand has had to start 2013 on a sour note.

To make matters worse BA has so far not even acknowledged the case with even a single tweet, post on Facebook or a statement on its corporate site. A bit of a mistake when they knew the outcome was going to run globally, surely? And I definitely don’t think a headline of ‘diversity and equality’ on the airline’s jobs website is enough of a message or an apology for not protecting Eweida’s rights.

For companies to be the best, it has to have the best people working for them. And to attract the best people you have to allow them to be themselves.

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Respect doesn’t come for free

28 May

Have you noticed that every London 2012 Olympic sponsor is changing tact and introducing a subtle sporting theme to their adverts to get their money’s worth? An athlete here, an official logo there. But, as a London 2012 spokesman has said, without them “the Games simply wouldn’t happen.”

Private sponsorship has been synonymous with the Olympics for the past 100 years – but it hadn’t warmed up until 1984 when the Games were hosted by Los Angeles – which decided to stage the Games without public funding (as cited in The Week – 5 May 2012).

With sponsors, such as McDonald’s, British Airways, BP and Cadbury’s, contributing one third of LOCOG‘s £2bn running costs, it’s no wonder that the organisation is doing all it can to ensure their sponsorship packages are protected from ‘ambush’ marketing.

To prevent brands getting any bright ideas about buying up prominent billboard spaces in London during the Games, LOCOG has rented 99% of them close to its venues. But, with high-profile sites capitalising on bidding wars to secure high prices, out of home advertising could be up 10-20% during the Olympics (according to Mathew Dearden, chief executive of Clear Channel UK as cited in today’s Media Guardian). So, how much money has been spent on respecting the sponsors?

Being part of the Games and bearing the logo means you will get talked about. Period. Such levels of exclusivity shouldn’t impact on what consumers think about your brand. The sponsors listed above are already major players in their various sectors and industries, and it’ll take more than an association with the largest global sporting event for consumers to change they way it feels about them.

What are your thoughts? Is it only fair that sponsors are treated with ‘respect’?

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