How brand re­spect got the boot

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

IN MAY, a col­league in Cape Town, Lin­diz van Zilla, sent a pri­vate re­quest via e-mail to adi­das’s head of­fice in Cape Town ask­ing for as­sis­tance with re­gards to some boots for mem­bers of a football team.

The team plays in a church league and counts a num­ber of for­eign­ers (refugees and asy­lum seek­ers) among its mem­bers, some of whom eke out a daily ex­is­tence and find a pair of football boots out of reach.

A re­quest was sub­mit­ted to adi­das seek­ing half a dozen pairs of boots – new, out of pro­duc­tion or even used – to as­sist some mem­bers of the team.

The e-mail re­quest was sub­mit­ted on two oc­ca­sions and fol­lowed up with a num­ber of tele­phone calls which saw mes­sages left on the an­swer­ing ser­vice of a se­nior mem­ber of the adi­das staff.

Even­tu­ally, a re­ply came by email, which sim­ply read:

Hi Tammy, Please re­view with the CSR Com­mit­tee and re­spond to Lin­diz as be­low (and copied). Thanks, Michelle. There was not so much as an ac­knowl­edge­ment of re­ceipt of the e-mail or the re­quest.

A week later my col­league fol­lowed up again just to check on the progress of the re­quest that had been passed on. Came the re­ply: Dear Lin­diz adi­das would like to con­firm re­ceipt of your re­quest for as­sis­tance.

While tak­ing cog­ni­sance of the mer­its of your re­quest, we must un­for­tu­nately in­form you that the com­pany will not be able to ac­com­mo­date it at this stage as our bud­get has al­ready been fully al­lo­cated.

Wish­ing you ev­ery suc­cess in the fu­ture.

Yours sin­cerely

adi­das shoes are piled up in a dis­play win­dow at the new adi­das Brand Cen­ter store, the world’s largest of its kind, in Bei­jing, China PIC­TURE: AP

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