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Killing Lions Can Kill Your Business' Social Rating
By: Emory Brown
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I’ve seen rallies to save the whales, petitions to stop murdering baby seals, and Greenpeace documentaries where valiant environmentalists fight to protect the oceans from oil spillers. Last week, I finally saw it all when a dentist by the name of Dr. Walter J. Palmer killed a lion on a hunting expedition. Social media, once a great medium for providing information on small businesses, became a weapon of mass destruction to destroy his reputation and brand.

Activists everywhere, unite! If you want to kill a brand and don’t have the political or media power to get out the message, use social media! Social media wasn’t meant to be a sniper rifle for going after businesses, but a filter by which business owners can be found and rated on their performances.

However, in Dr. Walter J. Palmer’s case, his brand got an onslaught of hate and insults over several days after he lured a lion out of an animal sanctuary and shot him with a crossbow. That’s like taking children out of an orphanage and handing them over to the boogie-men. Who does that?! The lion, affectionately named Cecil, lived another 40 hours before these jerks tracked him down and shot him with a gun, skinned, and beheaded him. Christ, Doc Palmer! Couldn’t you have put him under first? To make it worse, Cecil was a local favorite and part of a research experiment for Oxford University. Naturally, the story went international and animal activists worldwide are going after the Doc’s a$$!

There’s a hashtag dedicated to hating Dr. Palmer and a Facebook page with 7,300 members and growing. 780 people reduced his Yelp rating to one and he’s been forced to shut down the website for his dental practice. Social media has a way of creating grassroots movements — people are working together to vandalize his home with “Lion Killer” slurs spray-painted on his garage door as well as creating hate signs and taping them to his office doors.

It’s a terrible thing when a person’s brand becomes tainted, because social media will spread the word, track you down, and mount your head on the wall.

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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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