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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shift to Zog

In September, PR Week announced that Taser International had chosen Shift Communications "to help battle the public's negative perceptions about the brand, explained Jeff Kukowski, EVP of marketing at the company. He confirmed that the account is in the high-six-figures. The agency will handle media relations, social media, and consumer messaging and strategy around the well-known electronic control devices for consumers and law enforcement. Shift will also help launch a consumer product called Protector..."

Today, in the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch: "Zog Media, one of the nation's fastest growing digital marketing agencies, announced today the addition of TASER International to the firm's growing client roster. Zog Media was tapped for website design, search engine optimization, social media strategy and technology development for TASER International, the world's leading protection and prevention technology company."

"We continue to change the world in law enforcement and we have a great story to tell in terms of saving lives, effectiveness and accountability," said Jeff Kukowski, executive vice president of marketing for TASER International. "After an extensive search, we chose Zog Media to greatly enhance our marcom efforts in communicating this invaluable message of 'protection' worldwide to consumers with a new design to our website, vastly improved SEO capabilities and enhancing our social media presence. Just as important is having these proven capabilities and strategies for our new AXON(TM) and EVIDENCE.com digital evidence products and for the upcoming release of our Driver PROTECTOR technology."

Geez, I wonder what happened to the love-in between Taser International and Shift Communications!! Is it possible that the nice people at Shift came to their senses all by themselves and decided they didn't need the $$$,$$$ that badly after all?? Is it possible that my message to them on the day of the announcement in September had any impact??

Just in case either of those possibilities have any basis in reality, I will reiterate my message to the nice people at Zog Media:

Note to Zog Media: Your assignment - Put on a nice big pot of digital marketing coffee and keep it coming, pull up a big comfy digital marketing couch and begin by reading every word on THIS website. No really, I mean it - go all the way back to 1990 and read all 3,093 of the posts I`ve placed here - for a reason - from start to finish. Then read every single word at www.excited-delirium.com - don`t even blink in case you miss something. Finally, read the Braidwood Report, Phase I and Phase II.

Once you`ve completed the above assignment, and have got all the pieces of this twisted puzzle put together, then and only then will your digital marketing agency be all caught up with those of us who have been paying very close attention all along. At that point, you may want to revisit your corporate (and personal) code of ethics, your corporate (and personal) moral compass, consult your corporate (and personal) lawyer and then decide if this is truly the gig you want to align yourself with. Believe me, it ain`t pretty. We`re not talking about a few niggling `negative brand perceptions` here. This isn`t Domino`s Pizza or Pabst Blue Ribbon we`re talking about. Oh no, this is much, much more, by a long shot. And no amount of twittering, blogging, facebooking or any other social media cuteness can erase the sinister fact that 512 people who were alive one minute were dead the next. And, in every single instance, a taser was involved.

You will really want to consider your next move very carefully. If you do decide to proceed - perhaps you simply cannot live without the high six figures - you WILL (mark my words) end up in a place where you feel like the lawyer who defends his rich, sleazy client because he needs the money, even though he knows his client is no saint and is quite likely guilty on all counts. And where I come from, he/she could be seen to be guilty by association.

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