CIM Marketing Club Webinar

Social Media and the Impact of Cancel Culture on Brands

Maxine Hands is a renowned media and marketing specialist who converts intricate consumer information into concise and potent communication plans. In this webinar, Maxine focused on the rise of cancel culture, how it affects brands, and how brands can navigate it.

First, she explained that social media has shaped public opinion. Social media's extensive reach, immediate nature, and accessibility are the main reasons for its supremacy in influencing the general public. Its instantaneous nature facilitates the quick spread of information, encourages participation, and produces echo chambers that strengthen viewpoints. Discussion of personal views promotes impact and a sense of community. Therefore, social media platforms have emerged as critical tools for influencing public perception, stimulating discourse, and influencing narratives.

First, she provided an explanation of the term "Cancel Culture". This term refers to a social phenomenon where individuals or organisations face public criticism or boycotts due to offensive or inappropriate actions or remarks. The consequences of this widespread condemnation and social exclusion can be detrimental to one's professional life, often resulting in damaged reputations and careers. Cancel culture typically involves collective activities and online activism aimed at holding people or institutions accountable for their undesirable behaviour and withdrawing support or significance from the canceled event. Next, she moved on to discussing "pop neuro", which involves consumers aligning themselves with brands and celebrities as a means of self-expression. Conversely, individuals can also cancel these entities if they contradict their values.

In this webinar, she also tells us how understanding social effects helps people become more conscious of how decisions, practices, and policies influence communities and people. Encouraging empathy, directing moral decision-making, and bringing about constructive change all depend on this insight. Society may recognise disparities, tackle structural problems, and enact changes by understanding social effects.

For example, the brand ‘Uncle Ben’s’, following criticism that its 70-year old logo and imagery of a black farmer involved racial stereotyping, has now removed this image and changed it’s name to “Ben’s Original”, retaining its iconic orange colour. With a more courteous and culturally aware approach to marketing and representation, the rebranding sought to uphold diversity and do away with any images that might be interpreted as disrespectful or improper.

Maxine also responded to questions as she concluded an incredibly educational webinar. After posing some exciting queries, she advised students like us on essential skills we will require as marketers.

Chloe Law, CIM Marketing Club Student Representative, University of East Anglia

If you are eager to learn more about digital marketing, have a strong desire to stay up to date on the latest advancements in the industry, and are interested in learning new information you’ll find lots of resources on the CIM Marketing Club webpage here: Students can also sign up for free CIM Marketing Club updates - whether they’re seeking articles to reference for their assignments, attempting to figure out how to stand out from the crowd, or just wanting to have the most recent information and ideas at their fingertips.