Let’s revisit and update a broadcast moment where those at fault likely found themselves shrinking from all the attention.
One of my biggest pet peeves, when it comes not only to personal and corporate branding but of the broadcasting profession, is being careless. There is possibly nothing that can destroy a reputation faster than when someone does or says something without thinking about it first, several times. These are the completely avoidable mistakes, and when they do occur it becomes painfully obvious someone, or in this case likely several “someones”, isn’t paying attention to what they’re doing. Thus, we have yet another foolish gaffe that never should have happened.
The Chicago Cubs debuted a new carton mascot back in January of 2014, a warm and cuddly bear no doubt created for an instant appeal to kids and anyone willing to spend a nice chunk of change on something stuffed and cute. It did not go over well with loyal and diehard Cubs fans who have been waiting patiently and, in many cases, thru death, to see another Cubs World Series appearance, much less a win.
The people at the web site “Deadspin”, an alternative sports site that sadly dabbles in sophomoric humor when they actually have a decent real “reporting” take on certain news items, asked their viewers and readers to, in their own words, “Do Something Horrible To The Cubs’ New, Perverted Mascot”. The art director for another website sent in this cartoon rendition:
As “Deadspin” is a very popular site, the story and the accompanying picture got plenty of notice.
Someone as Comcast SportsNet Washington, the regional cable outlet in the DC area, picked up on the mascot story and thought it would make for an interesting little feature on their studio show. So they gathered together the proper video and pictures to make it a segment on their show looking at sports business.
Consider for a moment. Someone, or as noted several people, were in charge of putting this story together. Someone had to find the material, both pictorial and video. Someone had to edit it into a package for air. Someone had to review it. And someone had to approve it. I guarantee you this was not all the work of one person.
Incredibly careless. Not to mention insulting. Pornographic, in a cartoon sense. Embarrassing to the station and everyone that works there.
And completely avoidable if someone, or “someones”, was paying even the slightest bit of attention.
Should someone(s) have been fired for this? That’s a decision only Comcast could make. Comcast issued no apology, choosing to just let it slide by and hope everyone would forget all about it in a day or two. And they were correct. For the most part, it died down in a few days. But it’s still out there in the vast Internet ether, and someone may have lost a job because they failed to show attention to detail.
I’ve never been able to ascertain from my sources at Comcast DC if someone was fired, or if the person(s) responsible are still the source of jokes. But think about it. How would you like to be known as the guy or gal who was so careless to allow a cartoon bear penis to make air?
It’s a good lesson for those on both sides of the camera. Pay attention to detail. Check, double check and triple check your work.
When it comes to the long term memory we now have as a society thanks to social media and an Internet where everything lasts forever, it certainly is no small thing.