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"?
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.
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:
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
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