Red Lobster stops advertising on Al Jazeera America on March 31, 2013 as they said they would.
Red Lobster stopped advertising on Al Jazeera America on March 31, 2013. The company sent a letter to Florida Family Association on March 4, 2013 to state their intentions to pull off the channel. Florida Family Association had previously informed Red Lobster of the organization’s intentions to picket their eateries because of their advertising support for Al Jazeera America. The communications between Red Lobster and Florida Family Association are posted below.
Red Lobster was a major advertiser. Almost every hour of programming contained several Red Lobster advertisements prior to April 1, 2013. No advertisements have run on Al Jazeera America since March 31, 2013.
March 9, 2013 email alert and article
Florida Family Association sent out several email alerts which identified Red Lobster as a leading advertiser on Al Jazeera America after other major advertisers General Mills, Allstate and DeVry University had pulled off the channel. Thousands of supporters of this campaign sent emails to Red Lobster and Darden officials.
Up to this point, no official had responded to concerns regarding Red Lobster advertising on Al Jazeera America. Therefore, Florida Family Association made the decision to increase public awareness by picketing Red Lobster.
Florida Family Association wrote a letter by email that informed Red Lobster and parent company Darden on March 5, 2013 that plans were in place to picket their eateries. The March 5, 2013 letter also informed company officials that this letter would be sent to dozens of Red Lobster locations on March 11, 2013.
Mike Bernstein, Director, Media & Communications for Darden replied with this email and attached letter on Friday, March 8, 2013:
----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Bernstein
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 8:47 AM
Subject: RE: Plans to picket Red Lobster Restaurants starting in Florida
Mr. Caton: Please see the attached. Thank you.
Director, Media & Communications
P 407-245-5270 | F 407-241-6996
From: davidcaton [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 4:36 PM
To: Dave Pickens; Clarence Otis; Drew Madsen; Brad Richmond
Subject: Plans to picket Red Lobster Restaurants starting in Florida
Dear Mr. Caton:
Your email to Dave Pickens was forwarded to me and I’m responding on his behalf.
Thank you for reaching out. Obviously, you’re free to protest on public property for whatever reason you wish, but there’s some additional information you should be aware of.
Red Lobster had a limited advertising buy on Current TV, which was a very small part of our overall cable advertising budget. Long before you contacted us, we had already made the decision to not renew our contract with the network as part of our normal media evaluation and due to changing business needs. Back in January we notified Current TV we would not be renewing our contract, which expires in a few weeks on March 31, 2013.
Thanks again for reaching out.
Director of Media & Communications
Florida Family Association cautiously accepts Darden’s plan to stop advertising on Al Jazeera America on March 31, 2013. Future action involving pickets and new email campaigns will be postponed until April 1, 2013. The article on Floridafamily.org regarding Red Lobster will continue to encourage concerned citizens to send emails until the first week of April. An email alert will be issued during the week of April 7th to report on Red Lobster’s fulfillment of their plans to stop advertising. Florida Family Association does not intend to comment on the veracity of Darden’s response.
Florida Family Association cautiously accepts Darden’s plan but encourages concerned citizens to send emails to Red Lobster until the first week of April.
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March 8, 2013 article and email alert.
Red Lobster is the ONLY restaurant that is advertising on Al Jazeera America. Being the only restaurant should make it easy for consumers to remember which eatery is supporting Al Jazeera America with their advertising dollars.
Red Lobster is a leading advertiser on Al Jazeera America now that major advertisers General Mills, Allstate and DeVry University have pulled off the channel. However, Red Lobster is neck and neck with Reckitt Benckiser from week to week as to which company has the most ads. Red Lobster is owned by Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Florida Family Association sent out an email alert on January 14, 2013 which reported that Al Jazeera, the Arabic news TV channel headquartered in the Middle East (Doha, Qatar), purchased the Current TV channel which has the potential of reaching millions of viewers in the United States. Al Jazeera America is the new, tentative name for Current TV. Al Jazeera is the mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab Spring. The Muslim Brotherhood is the single largest promoter of the radical Islamist movement in the world. Nothing less should be expected to come from Al Jazeera’s access to cable viewers in America.
Since there are so few mainstream advertisers on Al Jazeera America and very few new advertisers Florida Family Association plans to deal with the individual companies instead of grouping them together. Americans, true Americans, need to know which companies are supporting Al Jazeera America especially in such an ardent manner as Red Lobster. Profiling each top advertiser one at a time accomplishes that educational need.
Red Lobster certainly has the right to choose where they spend their advertising dollars. You have the same right to object and spend your dining dollars elsewhere.
Now is the time to voice concern over the new ownership of this channel. Not after the new program content starts airing and companies fear reprisal. Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to Red Lobster and Darden Restaurant officials.
To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the "Send Your Message" button. You may also modify the subject or message text if you wish.
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