#BoycottTims – Tim Hortons in PR Frenzy over Enbridge Ads

By | June 9, 2015

Tim Hortons is in a public relations frenzy after it pulled Enbridge ads from its in-store TVs. The decision came after 28,000 people signed a petition, led by SumOfUs, calling for Tim Hortons to seize showing the ads.  The contents of the ad related to the Northern Gateway pipeline that Enbridge is building, which would ship oilsands bitumen from Alberta to the West Coast. The project is controversial and is estimated to cost tax payers- $7.9 billion.

The North American coffee chain thought their worst nightmare was over when they decided to pull the ads, yesterday. They replied to a number of social media concerns on Twitter stating that the ads have been pulled. What they did not realize was that not everyone was going to be happy with their decision.

The hashtag #BoycottTims began to trend across Canada as the word spread about Tim Hortons’ decision. Federal liberal candidate,  Kyle Harrietha called the decision to pull the ads, “a slap in the face to the over 11,000 employees of a Canadian owned company and to hundreds of thousands of Canadians whose livelihoods rely upon our ability to safely and efficiently move Canadian resources to market.”

Politicians Stephen Taylor, Michelle Rempel and Jason Kenney also weighed in on the debate, arguing for the #BoycottTims campaign.

The reasons for the boycott…proponents of #BoycottTims are arguing that the coffee chain company has no regard to the oil industry workers who are employed in the oil sector industry. Others went on to criticize the company for supporting dictatorships because they have operations in a number of Middle Eastern countries that are run by dictators and side with them over Canadian industries.

“Enbridge, of course, is not just pipelines and oilsands; they are a whole range of products including heating people’s homes,” said Alan Middleton of York University. “Tims should have thought about that.”

Digital Marketing Experts as well as Online Reputation Management execs pinpoint the cause of the frenzy on Tim Horton’s overreaction to the online petition.  As a rule, they encourage businesses to try to stay away from such polarizing issues and be aware of the backlash that a stand can cause.

About Alex Noudelman

Alex Noudelman is an educator, coach and Digital Marketing Manager with over 5 years of experience. Alex enjoys and strives to motivate others to better themselves both professionally and personally. Feel free to contact him if you have any questions or would like a specific topic covered.

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