HOW TO RESPOND TO A COMPLAINT ABOUT AN AD

You’ve started running a new ad. You think it’s a good one, and based on the early response, your target audience appears to agree.

And then the phone rings or the email appears. One or more people are clearly upset with you. They don’t understand why you ran such an offensive ad. They’ve found something objectionable in the visual, or perhaps in the words. They’ve taken offense at something you never considered. You didn’t plan to upset anyone! Now what should you do?

Very simple. Thank the complainer. Tell him or her that you appreciate the fact that he or she took the time to share their concern, and tell them you’ll consider it. Then forget about it.

You see, no matter what you do, it’s going to offend somebody — usually for reasons you’d never imagine. But if a thousand people see your ad and five of them find it offensive, it looks to me like 995 thought it was just fine. That’s where I’d focus.

Don’t cater to complainers. The ageless “wisdom” that the customer is always right just isn’t true. Sometimes, the customer is simply deranged, and you shouldn’t let deranged people make your decisions for you.

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