Radio Shack took us back to the ’80s — and then used ’80s decision making


RadioShack’s Super Bowl ad, featuring an amiable cast of TV and movie characters from the ’80s, rose to the top of most “best of” lists Monday.

Then, in an apparent demonstration of the right hand not knowing what the left was doing, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the company would close 500 of its 4,500 stores.

First of all, this is not a crisis, but it’s surely a self-inflicted wound and those often bleed into crises. Next, closing those stores many be a very good idea in an increasingly online purchasing world.

But if that’s the plan, why spend $8 million on a 60-second Super Bowl commercial — critics will contend the money is better spent saving jobs at some of those stores — about how you’re going to modernize your stores.

Hulk Hogan is smoother and Cliff Claven is smarter.

Surely, RadioShack management didn’t expect the WSJ story to break when it did. But it should have.

It’s one thing for a natural disaster or employee misconduct to cause a company’s crisis. It’s another for marketing not knowing what the CEO’s plans are. Murky thinking or internal arrogance should never generate a crisis. And that’s not analysis, it’s fact-based.

As the Journal reported: On Tuesday, RadioShack shares slipped 4.8% to $2.36. Following the Super Bowl ad, the stock jumped more than 7% Monday morning.

Seems like something that would drive Chucky crazy or lead CHIPs to make an arrest.

The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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