Marketing Professor Pens Commentary for Toronto Star on Pandemic Uncertainties

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Prof. Tim Dewhirst

Prof. Timothy Dewhirst of U of G’s Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies contributed a commentary to the Toronto Star about why so many companies are sending out what he calls “overly optimistic” marketing communications.

He noted that certain sports teams and travel companies are urging customers to buy season’s memberships or book travel for 2021, but the marketing pitches “appear tone-deaf based on the uncertainties” the COVID-19 pandemic presents.

He said it’s understandable that companies want to generate cash flow, but the marketing is only raising questions for consumers.

“From an ethical standpoint, do companies want to continue communicating about possibly unfulfilled promises, especially among their most loyal and valued customers?” he wondered.

Dewhirst is senior research fellow in marketing and public policy in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. His research expertise includes sports, arts and entertainment marketing.