Skittles’ and AriZona Iced Tea’s Comments on Trayvon Martin

Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea at the center of Trayvon Martin Rallies - Photo Courtesy of Getty Images/

Once the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman had gone global one couldn’t help but notice the two brands at the center of attention, Skittles (a Mars Company) and AriZona Ice Tea.  From activists to celebrities, people were told to use either brand to send a message to the Sanford Police Department or the Zimmerman family. 

Finally last week both brands spoke out in regards to the Martin incident and HLN captured the statements from both companies. 

From Skittles’ spokesperson, Jennifer Jackson-Luth:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Trayvon Martin’s death and express our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We also respect their privacy and feel it inappropriate to get involved or comment further as we would never wish for our actions to be perceived as an attempt of commercial gain following this tragedy.”

From AriZona’s spokesperson, Jackie Harrington:

“At this time, we will make no further comment as we wish to respect the family’s privacy and grieving time and feel it is inappropriate to become involved in a private family matter.”

From a Crisis Communication view, it can be said both brands handled the statements in a respectful manner.  Also, it is left to wonder if at a later time, we’ll see some partnership, personal or community involvement from either brand at a later date. 

Which company do you think handled the statement better?

And what about Hollister?  They image most used for Martin is him in their hoodie brand.  Do you believe they will eventually release a statement, especially after the Geraldo Rivera statement?  Or have they escaped the radar of the media?


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