Socio-economic marketing and brand risk - selected weekly updates

For the past week, MSA identified 33 discrete brand risk events with our monitoring technology.  These brand risk events included an array of diverse firms, from very large, well-known publicly traded corporations to mid-sized, private firms.  Below, we’ve selected some representative brand risk event press reports to help you stay current and informed.  MSA’s weekly risk event summary is available on a subscription basis.  Contact us for more information.


OneUnited Bank in Boston is attempting to combine banking with socio-economic issues, in a rare example of a firm exploiting activism as a business opportunity.

“In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest Black bank, has released a statement in support of the immigrant community currently under intense national scrutiny. Concurrently, the bank releases the Justice Card featuring on its face a young black woman, just out in solidarity and draped in flags to celebrate cultures that are the mosaic of America. The artwork, created by internationally celebrated muralist Addonis Parker, is a strong addition to the Bank’s Visa Debit Card collection supporting the #BankBlack movement…”

OneUnited Bank supports immigrants and releases "Justice Card." OneUnited Bank Press Release.


Kellogg’s experiences a major brand and product execution risk event:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issues warning about Honey Smacks cereal.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a popular Kellogg's cereal has been linked to a salmonella outbreak that has infected 100 people in 33 states...…”

The CDC says - don't eat this cereal! ABC News. July 13, 2018


The digital advertising industry focuses on brand safety with the launch of the “Brand Safety Institute.”  Among the items on their agenda is encouraging the development of a new corporate role: the Brand Safety Officer.

"When you ask industry leaders to describe their biggest brand safety challenges, it's like the blind men and the elephant, as each sector of our industry describes a slightly different, yet interrelated, set of problems," said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG and Co-Founder of BSI. "The brand safety issue is complicated, multi-faceted, and quickly-evolving…”

Introducing the Brand Safety Institute. BSI Press Release. July 25, 2018


The Martin Agency, a unit of Interpublic (NYSE: IPG), is radically changing the firm’s culture with a new CEO, a new department, and new hires.  

“…the holding company (IPG) installed a new CEO at the agency, Kristen Cavallo, who in turn, did her own weeding out of the old guard at the agency.  And she quickly took steps to double the representation of female leaders on the agency’s executive committee. She’s also taken steps to close the gender pay gap at the agency and get involved with other movements to promote gender equality, like #FreeTheBid and Times Up Advertising…”

 The Martin Agency continues to evolve its culture. Media Post. July 15, 2018