Lowe’s is in the midst of a social media firestorm after deciding to pull ads from TLC’s “All-American Muslim” after receiving a series of communications from the Florida Family Association. FFA stated that the television program was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”
As a result, prominent business figures and politicians including Sen. Ted Lieu and Russel Simmons, began the work of calling Lowe’s out on what they consider to be un-American and Islamophobic behavior. In fact, Simmons is spearheading much of the Twitter outrage calling for a boycott of the brand.
The social media question I have is- “What the heck is Lowe’s thinking?!” It’s bad enough that Lowe’s tagline is “Let’s Build Something Together” and that they are pulling ads from a show that FFA admitedly states is a threat because it does not show militant muslims, but now they are completely mucking up in the area of social media.
Lowe’s last posted on Facebook on December 10th- four days ago! This was their last post.
It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.
Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.
We strongly support and respect the right of our customers, the community at large, and our employees to have different views. If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.
Thank you for allowing us to further explain our position.
At this moment, there have been over 28,000 comments, varying in opinion. Everyone from those dissapointed in the retailer for what they consider to be a bigoted decision to people who admittedly hate Muslims have weighed in on the converstation. However, the missing voice is Lowe’s. Prior to December 10th, Lowes posted 1-2 times per day.
On the Twitter front, Lowe’s stated in its headline that “We never stop tweeting”. However, in the last 30 minutes they pulled that sentence and left the remaining “Got a complaint, compliment or question? Let us know!” No worries Lowe’s, it appears that the Twittosphere is doing just that!
In addition to all of the negative publicity around the Florida Family Association’s influcence over Lowe’s, now FFA supporters’ are dealing with online security breaches.
While several business analysts cave stated that Lowe’s is likely to survive the bad publicity, I’m curious to know what they think will be gained by completely ruining their online credibility? “Let’s build something together- unless you are Muslim” and “We never stop tweeting- except when people are mad at us.”
While Lowe’s is navigating dangersous territory, give a pseudo-apology and going silent on social media is a sure fire way to make things worse.