Read my comments below on how to keep sharing your thoughts on the Yellow Tail donation to HSUS.
Jolley: Five Minutes With The Yellow Tail Fiasco
Question: After their recent poorly considered donation of $100,000 to HSUS, will Yellow Tail have to high tail it out of the American wine market?
Answer: If the merciless beating they took on social media has any impact, yes.
For those of you who haven’t been following this amazing marketing miscue, Yellow Tail, an Australian winery that’s been very successful in bringing nicely priced, mid-level wines to American consumers, made the colossal mistake of donating 100 large to the Human Society of the United States as part of a “tails for tails” P.R. effort. The idea was Yellow Tails would donate money to help rescue puppies and kittens and such. (Yellow) Tails for (puppy) tails – get it? Clever, huh?
Well, the whole thing went viral in a way they never expected. The ag community, long a target of HSUS, was immediately up in arms. Good red wines, after all, are best enjoyed with a good steak, not a marinated and grilled piece of tofu. Hundreds of people in the ag community or closely affiliated with it, went to Yellow Tail’s Facebook page and becoming fans of the company. They became fans, not to pat them on the back but to kick them a little lower down their anatomy. Within 24 hours hundreds of people had used their ‘fan’ status to ask YT what the hell they were thinking.
I spent an hour browsing through the comments. They have two Facebook pages, by the way, with 2,442 people on one and 1,657 on the other. Although not everyone commented, I found 7 people risking “attaboys” for the donation with the rest offering swift kicks to their Aussie posteriors. Comments like “Don’t drink the yellow water” and “Yellow belly” popped up with some consistency. One creative rancher took his last bottle of Yellow Tail wine out to his pasture, sat it on a fence post and used it for target practice. I saw a few pictures of the familiar YT bottle poised over a toilet, an interesting way to decant a liter of wine. Read More
It’s been an exciting couple of days watching the relentless efforts of farmers, ranchers, hunters, restaurant owners, pet owners and others in telling Yellow Tail that they are not happy about their decision to donate to the vegan animal rights group HSUS. This has been an epic failure and text book example of how NOT to handle social media and an upset customer base. Their apparent strategy now is to hunker down and wait for it to blow over. What they fail to see is that this won’t just blow over. Already this morning, liquor stores and restaurants that serve their products are being asked to stop. The negative impression of Yellow Tail has certainly reached hundreds of thousands of people through the viral nature of social media. A quick Google search of all things Yellow Tail tells the story loud and clear.
So where do we go from here? This is where we take our advocacy to the next level. Like I mentioned before, if you have eating establishments or wine stores in your area that carry their product, go talk to the manager and share with them what has happened and how the HSUS agenda will affect you. What affects you, affects them. That needs to be your message. But don’t stop there. Share with everyone else what you are doing in your local area so we can see the progress that’s being made across the country. There’s a couple of ways I want you to do this. Please share anything you do on the Yellow Tail Facebook page, on the newly formed facebook page Yellow Fail, and on the Advocates for Ag fan page.
All of you have made a difference on this issue. Keep up the good work!