The president’s manufacturing council of business
three of its members Monday, and a fourth on
The companies, particularly Under Armour and
Intel, are being lauded and actually getting a brand boost on
According to data crunched by
Brandwatch, 88.6% of the conversation around Intel
and 89.4% of the conversation around Under Armour is
More brands are coming forward and distancing themselves from
The president’s manufacturing
council of business leaders
lost three of its members
, and a fourth
on Tuesday, amid backlash from his failure to strongly condemn
the deadly white-supremacist protests in Charlottesville,
Virginia, this past weekend.
offered a stronger condemnation
, but it was
too little too late.
“For the vast majority of
Americans there is a fine boundary between backlash from
political correctness and overt hatred,” said Paul Marcum,
president at integrated marketing agency Truffle Pig.
“Charlottesville — and the president’s response
to it — missed that distinction and
ended up on the wrong side of
The four executives staging a
walkout was them being unwilling to give extreme positions cover,
This is in stark contrast to
positions that many of them held until very recently. Until now,
many of these b
leaders have rationalized joining Trump’s business councils by
saying that they were trying help the president make better
decisions about American business, even ignoring
Under Armour’s Plank, for
example, was all praise for Trump in an interview with CNBC’s
“Fast Money Halftime Report” back in February, despite the brand
being threatened with “mass burnings” of the company’s
garments across America.
“He wants to build things. He
wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive,” Plank had
said. “I’m a big fan of people that operate in the world of
‘publish and iterate’ versus ‘think, think, think, think, think,’
so there’s a lot that I respect there.”
But now, brands seem to be
their advice is largely inconsequential. And that walking out
in such a situation is not only the right thing to do, but
perhaps just good business.
The companies in question,
according to data crunched by social analytics company
Brandwatch, are actually getting a boost in brand perception
after their walkouts.
Since August 13, Merck has been
mentioned more than 344,000 times online, because of departure of
its CEO from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council. Intel and
Under Armour have too been mentioned over 116,000 times and
130,000 times respectively, within the same time period.
Further, the sentiment around the brands is largely
positive, with 88.6% of Intel’s and 89.4% of Under Armour’s
conversation being positive.
The only brand with a negative
sentiment attached to it is Merck (with 62.9% of its mentions
being negative). This is being driven by Trump’s criticism on
Twitter of Kenneth Frazier and how Merck provides “ripoff drugs.”
The only reason it is negative is because people are criticizing
Trump for singling out Merck and Frazier and not the other CEOs,
and the algorithm can’t decipher that context, according to
On the other hand, President
Trump’s brand seems to have taken a hit. According to Brandwatch,
the most used hashtag in the combined conversations around all
three companies is #ImpeachTrump. The hashtag has garnered over
33 million impressions.
Still, the brands seem to realize that it is ultimately a
fragmented and polarizing issue. So even while leaving, it
appears that Intel and Under Armour were trying to avoid backlash
as much as possible.
“It certainly appears to be a strategic maneuver from Plank and
Krzanich to announce their departure later in the evening when
people are looking to relax and stray away from news updates,”
said Brandwatch’s PR data manager, Kellan Terry. “I’d guess that
they hoped their departures wouldn’t garner as much attention
later at night, and it’s commonly witnessed on social media that
backlash is greatest for the first deviation away from the