Patagonia gives back tax break; Payless pokes influencers

The Message gives you the run down on what in the world is happening right now.

Patagonia uses Trump tax cut to help the environment: Lots of brands claim to be driven by a higher purpose and to really care about important matters like the environment—and then there’s Patagonia. The outdoor brand has been unwavering in its support for environmental efforts, including endorsing political candidates and delivering sustainability brand messages that encourage people to re-use and recycle over replace (see below). On Wednesday, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said the company would donate the money saved from a new tax cut to environmental groups. “Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources,” she wrote on Linkedin. “In spite of this, the Trump administration initiated a corporate tax cut, threatening these services at the expense of our planet.”

Unilever gets a new boss: Unilever is getting a new CEO with the departure of Paul Polman at the start of the new year. Polman will be replaced by Alan Jope, who has spent his entire career with the consumer goods giant, most recently leading its beauty and personal care business. The Financial Times says Jope will have to decide if Unilever should remain committed to the ambitious growth targets set by Polman—3% to 5% sales growth at 20% margin by 2020—after fighting off a Kraft-Heinz takeover attempt led by 3G Capital.

Payless opens Palessi: Payless shoes and agency DCX Growth Accelerator recently opened a fake store in Santa Monica called Palessi. They stocked it with Payless product and invited influencers to check out the “designer” goods. The idea of tricking people into believing a value brand is a lux product isn’t entirely original, but this one also seems to be making a point about fashion influencers. Doug Cameron, DCX Growth Accelerator’s chief creative officer, told Adweek they wanted to make a “cultural statement” and “challenge today’s image-conscious fashion influencer culture.”

Kellogg’s is over influencer vanity metrics: Meanwhile, Kellogg’s has taken real steps to remedy some of the flaws in influencer marketing, according to Digiday. Speaking at a Digiday event, Joseph Harper, social media lead at Kellogg’s in the U.K. and Ireland, said the company is more interested in the quality of the social interactions, and is putting more effort into finding genuine users of the brand. “We don’t buy social media ads based on reach anymore because it can be easily faked,” said Harper. “We’re trying to move away from being solely reliant on vanity metrics and take into account the sentiment of posts as well as the different types of conversations happening around them.” -David Brown

David Brown

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