The automotive brand demonstrated its low latency credentials as it diverted its News Of The World advertising spend to kids charity Childline.
The move came in response to the widespread phone hacking allegations against News International’s top selling Sunday tabloid – particularly that the newspaper’s tapping of missing teenager Milly Dowling’s mobile.
Mitsubishi was one of a number of advertisers, including Asda, Boots, Co-op, Dixons, Ford, Halifax, O2, Specsavers and Vauxhall, to pull its ads from the disgraced paper. But what made its reaction markedly different was the speed at which it pulled its ads and the fact that its reaction came in response to a comment from one of its Facebook fans.
On the brand’s Facebook page, a member of the public tweeted on 5 July suggesting the brand should pull its ads and divert the spending to a worthy cause. So the car maker contacted Childline and developed am partnership to divert money previously earmarked for News Of The World. Shortly afterwards, Mitsubishi announced via Twitter that “Based on a Facebook user suggestion, Mitsubishi is donating its #NoTW (News of the World) ad spend to the Childline charity.”
Thus, by diverting media budget to a related and timely charity the brand created a tactical, low latency CSR initiative. Because of this, Mitsubishi benefited from further positive PR after it was invited on numerous TV and radio programmes to discuss its decision and highlight the brand’s ethical position and values.
Certainly not a sponsorship, but this collaboration highlights the importance of tactical flexibility for marketing teams and how beneficial it can be to react quickly and decisively to current events in real time. While other brands dithered and considered, Mitsubishi acted and benefitted considerably from doing.