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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Charity or Commercial... but not both

Just when you start to think that maybe, just maybe, Bell runs its Let's Talk campaign every year to make a positive contribution to society...

... someone decides it would be a good idea to use the "let's talk" line established as part of the mental health campaign in an email signature... promote the company's cell phone service.


It's just gross.

It's fantastic when a company wants to be a good corporate citizen and use its clout to help improve society in some way. But if that's what you're doing, you can't expect a direct commercial benefit for your efforts: if you do, it's not charity, it's commerce.

It's also perfectly acceptable to run an initiative like "Let's Talk" purely and transparently as a marketing initiative intended to fabricate goodwill and sales for your organization. But if that's the route you choose, don't pretend it's anything more than that.

Just don't try to have it both ways, because you simply can't.

And trying to do it is just gross.

(A hat-tip to Ben Lucier for sharing the screenshot above in his LinkedIn Post.)

UPDATE: a friend who works in a senior leadership role at Bell reached out to me privately and confirmed this was NOT approved corporate messaging; my friend believes it was someone who wanted to get creative with their email sign-off and was perhaps unaware of (or indifferent towards) the company's formal policies around email signatures. My friend and the relevant internal parties are working to address this situation right away, an action I applaud and felt important to share with you.


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