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UPS Responds To Offended UK Fans Online

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UPS Responds To Offended UK Fans Online
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UK fans have been quite upset about the commercial that UPS is running, using the infamous 1992 Duke win over UK as an example of great “logistics”. UPS has defended its use of the commercial, defying its own customer and worker base in Kentucky.

The objections of UK fans is based on two simple points:

1) That game is a sore spot for UK fans because of Laettner, who displayed extremely poor sportsmanship by intentionally stomping on a Kentucky player but was not removed from the game by officials or by his coach. Had any other player made the buzzer-beating shot, UK wouldn’t have liked it, but they wouldn’t be talking about it 20 years later.

2) UPS has aligned itself with this “example” of great “logistics”. They have heard from Kentuckians about why this is offensive. They’ve responded with blog posts and comments that show they intend to continue showing the ad.

How this is good business is a mystery. It is understandable that underlings charged with maintaining the company’s blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts might not be able to say much. But, why hasn’t some wiser executive ordered the ad pulled and an apology tweeted? Perhaps someone who knows that it’s better to not alienate your customers with an emotionally-charged offense than to try to argue them out of it?

Instead, this is what UPS is telling its customers. Now, before you read this, imagine if someone from the company responded to you in this manner about a damaged package complaint or late delivery to your customer? Would that be the kind of company you would want to have handling your “logistics”?

@UPS I will probably never use your service again after seeing your new commercial #BBN 15 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@elbacono Sorry to hear that:( We ♥ UK and #BBN. And we’re proud to call KY home to our global air hub. More on the ad: http://t.co/n2VneHIf 15 hours ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

The link they included in this tweet is to a blog by a UPS employee who says he is a UK fan. We covered the contents of that blog in this article earlier. The writer, Mark Dickens, defends UPS’ choice. He highlights that UPS has hired 33,000 people in Kentucky. He asks that UK fans be “objective” about the ad. He says that he “can’t allow [himself] to dwell on the past”. The implication is that UK fans are not objective and do dwell in the past, else they would be ok with an ad glorifying an example of poor sportsmanlike conduct so heinous that it sticks in fans’ craw 20 years on. Bad form, Mark Dickens. Bad play, UPS.

The #BBN will have to boycott @UPS for that pathetic “logistics” commercial. I vote we ship @FedEx all day, every day. #GoBigBlue! 16 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@JuNewMoore We’re proud supporter of UK. Ad is about how teamwork + execution deliver game changing moments http://t.co/n2VneHIf 15 hours ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Again, trying to defend the ad, redirect people to the offensive blog post excusing it.

These twitter replies go on and on. Their responses on Facebook are just as insensitive to the reason Kentuckians are offended. Would a company like this go to, say, Japan and insist that people there just see things their way? They are choosing to ignore that this was more to fans than a game that was lost. UK has lost plenty of games, even in Elite Eights and Final Fours. It was an injustice fans felt from that particular player in that particular game, and still do.

So, what to do? How about going up the chain a bit? Apparently, the folks in the lower offices don’t see the big picture. Should you choose to hop on the elevator and hit the top floor, here’s the key:

Emails:

Michael L Eskew, Former Chairman & CEO, still is on Board of Directors – MLEskew@ups.com

David Abney, Chief Operating Officer – DAbney@ups.com

Kurt Kuehn, Chief Financial Officer – KKuehn@ups.com

Allen E Hill, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary – AHill@ups.com

John McDevitt, Senior Vice President, HR and Labor Relations – JMcDevitt@ups.com

Twitter:

UPS general account – @UPS

Alan Gershenhorn, Chief Sales, Marketing and Strategy Officer – @AlanGershenhorn

Elizabeth Rasberry, Reputation Management @erasberry1

Susasn Fletcher, Director of Social Media and Digital Communications @Brit68

Jackie Blair, PR Supervisor @JackieCBlair

UPS Responds To Offended UK Fans Online


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  • UKfan1954

    Well done, Mike. UPS made a marketing decision that they cared little for the opinions or business choices of Kentucky basketball fans. They remain unapologetic, which speaks volumes about the UPS corporate leadership. Yes, I will now ship with one of UPS’s many competitors. Outsiders can ridicule all they want about us, but Kentucky basketball fans will not be shamed for their undying devotion and reverence for the greatest tradition in college basketball!

  • mike

    Here here!

  • Shawn

    I will never use UPS again. They had their chance to do the right thing and blew it.

  • Renaldo

    Nobody is going to boycott UPS because UPS is the best. Go back to sitting in your mother’s basement and faking a life on the internet; everyone knows you don’t ship packages so stop pretending.

  • Marilyn Owens

    I think it is just was poor judgement to run that particular commercial during the NCAA, I am sure the people from Duke/North Carolina, loved it, and yes, you have a local hub here and many Kentuckians work for UPS here locally, and I am sure they are ticked off at their company. You should have thought a little deeper on this one before using it as your ad campaign and I would fire my advertising execs! Just amazing that you continued to run it even last night during the KY game! I won’t say I will not use your services because of this, but I will think about how to ship the next time as a result!

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