South Dakota rancher's wine-dumping online video faults Humane Society
Effort protests donation from Yellow Tail
Thom Gabrukiewicz • email@example.com • February 19, 2010
In a tan, worn Carhartt jacket and black cowboy hat, South Dakota rancher Troy Hadrick is an unlikely digital folk hero, a viral warrior.
But there he is on YouTube, pouring out a bottle of Yellow Tail wine - by the looks of it, a nice sparkling white - onto the snowy, hoof-trampled ground with his winter-coated cattle looking on. The act is in protest of the company's $100,000 donation to the Humane Society of the United States.
"My concern is with the Humane Society of the United States, which isn't connected at all with the dog and cat shelters in our local communities," the fifth-generation Vale rancher said Thursday. "This is an organization that's pushing a vegan agenda in this country, and that concerns me. That donation is going to go to efforts to try and put me out of business, and I'm just not going to support a company that does that."
And viral efforts such as this one can be disastrous for companies, especially in the age of instant information, said Maggie Holben, a public relations expert from Lakewood, Colo.
"That's what we fondly call a crisis," she said of YouTube protests such as Hadrick's. "You have to circle the wagons, you have to respond and you have to tell people who you are. Is there a trick remedy? No. It's honesty." Read More