Social upheaval in the United States and around the world revolving around issues of race has impacted many aspects of culture. Business and marketing communications are no exceptions.


  1. Do you remember the first controversy associated with the Dixie Chicks/Chicks? How does this brand name change differ from that episode in the band’s career?
  2. Can you think of other performers that have names that people might find to be offensive? Should those individuals and groups follow suit?
  3. Explain the marketing communication challenges associated with apologizing for a brand name such as Aunt Jemima and building a strong new brand in its place.
  4. As of July 4, 2020, these were the main brand name changes. The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians organizations contemplated name changes but had not done so. Both teams earn considerable amounts of money from merchandising of jerseys and other items. How would a change affect marketing communications for those teams?
  5. Several of the companies that changed brand names also made donations to organizations supporting racial equality. How will the public view such efforts, with appreciation or with suspicion? Explain your answer.

About Dr. Donald Baack

Co-author of textbook.

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