Commentary

Who Should We Endorse And Why?


Nearly a week before the 2020 Presidential election, a number of consumer tracking polls indicate most Americans expect brands to play a role in politics, and explicitly in influencing this year's election.

Remarkably, Mindshare's "Pool" research finds that a slight majority (51%) believe brands should even endorse a candidate. We've come a long away from just a couple of years ago, when Nike got some backlash for weighing in with support for Colin Kaepernick's Black Lives Matter protest, but a lot has transpired in the past few years, and Americans and American brands have changed forever.

But while American consumer expectations are high for brands, only about a third (38%) trust brands will "do the right thing" when it comes to politics, according to Morning Consult's tracking polls.

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I tried to find a list of brand endorsements for the 2020 Presidential election, but most of the lists are either of individuals or organizations like unions, advocacy groups, and publishers, including some -- like Scientific American and USA Today -- who have endorsed a candidate for President for the first time ever: Joe Biden.

As I prepare to make the case for MediaPost to weigh in with its first-ever Presidential endorsement, I'd like to hear what you think first. If you have any thoughts on the following, either post your comments here or let me know at joe@mediapost.com:

  • Should MediaPost endorse a candidate?
  • If so, which one and why?

14 comments about "Who Should We Endorse And Why?".
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  1. Shawn Adelsberg from Feedvisor, October 26, 2020 at 10:13 a.m.

    Yes and Biden. Is this even a debate? 

  2. Michael Pursel from Pursel Advertising, October 26, 2020 at 10:36 a.m.

    Based on all previous Media coverage, you really don't have to endorse Biden Joe, You already have shown your preference in your coverage.  You and Wayne make it very clear.  Which is ok, but I believe this is actually a redundant question.  Are there any employees of Media Post that would even admit to being coservative?  HA

  3. Harvey Jassem from University of Hartford, October 26, 2020 at 10:45 a.m.

    As the only candidate who supports the First Amendment, respects media and honesty, Biden would be the only person to support and unifies Republicans and Democrats.

  4. Mario L Castellanos from New Ventures Technologies, October 26, 2020 at 10:47 a.m.

    No, but to acknowledge (perhaps by opining about) a current event that's so vital to the sanctity of our democracy in the US, such as the selection of a president (if not a party) that cares more about the republic, as opposed to one that cares for no one but himself, is an absolute must. 

    The bottom line is, an open media that is is equally and fairly available to ALL, regardless of their financial position, should be the only thing a media journal such as MediaPost should preach.

  5. Anne Zeiser from Azure Media, October 26, 2020 at 11:05 a.m.

    Yes, MediaPost should judge the presidential candidates agains the six pillars of character and endorse a candidate accordingly. (*1) The character pillars are:

    RESPECT
    Treat others with respect and follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

    TRUSTWORTHINESS
    Be honest in communications and actions • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country • Keep your promisesRESPONSIBILITY
    Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Be diligent • Persevere • Do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act • Be accountable for your words, actions and attitudes • Set a good example for others • Choose a positive attitude • Make healthy choices

    FAIRNESS
    Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly

    CARING
    Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Show Empathy • Express gratitude • Forgive others and show mercy • Help people in need • Be charitable and altruistic

    CITIZENSHIP
    Do your share to make your home, school, community and greater world better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer

    The traits I seek in a leader are:

    Trustworthy. Honorable. Honest. Sincere. Thoughtful. Informed. Thorough. Competent. Effective. Fair. Stable. Dependable. Responsible. Disciplined. Kind. Understanding. Sensitive. Selfless. Empathetic. Generous. Responsive. Couragous. Respectful. Respected. Positive. Inspirational.

    Trump fails all six elements of good character. He possesses none of my critera either.  Biden possesses all of these traits. The contrast in their characyers is stark.

    This presidential election is a matter of character. Make the endorsement based on character. Vote based on character. 

    *1) https://charactercounts.org/program-overview/six-pillars/

  6. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 26, 2020 at 11:24 a.m.

    Joe, while you and I  agree about who we would like to see in the White House next year, I think that it's a mistake for a media/advertising forum such as Media Post to start endorsing political candidates running for office. If Media Post had a staff of reporters covering the presidential campaign every day and a much more varied constituency---as is the case with a local newspaper which serves---or tries to serve---a comminity of  demographics, life styles and interests, taking such a position makes some sense---even though it may alienate some folks. However many mass media--like TV networks,cable channels, TV stations, etc. have stayed away from such endorsements and I think that this should be the case for MP as well. Most of us come here for news and information about the media and advertising business---not whether Biden should beat Trump in the coming election. What's next, making the NY Yankees the official MP team or naming your choice for mayor of New York? I'd let it go.

  7. Tom Haymond from Creative Mobile Technologies, October 26, 2020 at 11:47 a.m.

    No. Write about media which is your expertise.

  8. David Mountain from Marketing and Advertising Direction, October 26, 2020 at 11:57 a.m.

    Make a one time exception to underscore the exceptional nature of this election. 

  9. Glenn Hansen from BPA Worldwide, October 26, 2020 at 12:05 p.m.

    I agree with Tom and Ed. Stick to your knitting.

    If there is an issue relative to our profession and the candidates have spoken out on it, then that is fair coverage. For example, imagine a proposed tax specific to online advertising...if candiates differed on points of view and MP wants to lean one way or the other...that would not offend me. Present the facts and express an opinion on which candidate would be best for the industry. But otherwise stay away.

  10. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, October 26, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.

    I've been reading Mediapost for 15+ years and at no other time has it posted more stories about politics than it has for the past few years.  I expect Mediapost to report on legislation that may impact our industry - ie FCC rulings, net neutrality, group ownerships, data privacy, etc.  But I'm personally tired of how much commentary is given to individual candidates.


    Mediapost should be informing us of legislation that impacts our industry, not endorsing a candidate.  I don't care what your views are on the economy, abortion, civil rights, immigration, new energy, foreign policy, etc.  We are not a one-issue nation and mediapost is in no position to promote one candidate over the other.  If you're going to endorse one candidate over the other based on issues in the marketing industry, that seems to be quite self-serving, shallow, and irresponsible.  If you are going opine on any issue outside of legislation that affects this industry, it is totally innappropriate and Mediapost just becomes yet one more publication alienating half of its readers.

  11. Leo Kivijarv from PQ Media, October 26, 2020 at 12:49 p.m.

    You've raised some good points in the article, as have the multiple commentors, that I'm torn between giving a thumbs up or thumbs down on the question of a media magazine endorsing a candidate. Recently, I was able to put Trump's attacks on the media into historical perspective when I read "The Presidents vs. the Press: The Endless Battle Between the White House and the Media - from the Founding Fathers to Fake News" by Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. We've not yet gotten to point of equalling the John Adams administration's use of the Alien & Sedition Act to jail select newspaper publishers or the Lincoln administration censorsing reporters during the Civil War. Yet, I believe the attacks on the media and repercussions will increase under a second Trump administration with the backing of the deeply politicized Department of Justice and the heavily skewed conservative Supreme Court after the vote to confirm this upcoming week. Trump has ramped up his requests in recent months to legally persecute the opposition, including our former president. At what point does an embolded Trump in a second term, with the backing of the DOJ and SCOTUS, attempt to prohibit the publication of articles that question his policies, including those that MediaPost might consider posting?  

  12. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, October 26, 2020 at 1:35 p.m.

    I agree with a couple of comments on this thread, but first, I think it's your the site, so it's your decision and no one else's. We call that freedom. That said, my vote would be no, for two of the reasons in the thread: first off, anyone who reads your commentaries regularly can have no doubt whom you are voting for; secondly, as Ed Papazian points out, the reporters and contributors to your site are not covering politics, they're covering marketing and advertising. And, as Ed also points out, where does it all end... or even does it? Just my two cents, but there it is.

  13. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, October 26, 2020 at 5:56 p.m.

    This is a rare occassion when I must disagreee with my esteemed colleague Ed Papazian.  In this gobsmacking US election democracy is on the ballot including freedom of the press.  As The Lincoln Project has asked, "America or Trump?"  
    So Joe, Yes!  And as Shawn commented, "Biden.  Is this even a debate?" 

  14. Jed Meyer from Ebiquity, October 27, 2020 at 6:12 p.m.

    Joe - I really enjoy your coverage of the media landscape, but think it would be a mistake to make an endorsement.  Stick to your knitting - covering media.  There is plenty of sources for opinion writing out there and your readers know where to go to get those perspectives.  I doubt that any endorsement that you might potentially make will sway anyone and it will only cause people to view your future reporting & coverage as potentially biased.


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