Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Criminal Minds: Many fans of Criminal Minds and certainly the Criminal Minds writers have tried to do the math on exactly what the latest strike offer really breaks down to in dollars and cents. It is very dry business and almost impossible to get a good number because network revenue isn't broadcast accurately anywhere. I know approximately what my company pays for a 30 second spot on Criminal Minds versus other shows but even that number has many variables. Here is what I do know for a fact. Companies like the one I work for tend to take wait and see postures during events like strikes. What they don't take lightly is when consumers use the "B" word. Nothing scares a company more than a boycott or a recall! So who has the power in this strike? It isn't the AMPTP or even the WGA! It is you the consumer. Every individual consumer has the power to scare a Fortune 500 company into taking action to end this strike.

Without using the name of the company I work for I am going to give you some examples of why each and every consumer matters. My company sells a variety of products. One of these is a condiment. A worldwide best seller! If 100 consumers threaten to boycott that condiment the account managers take that 100 and times it by 8 because research has shown us that for each unit of our product that we sell to you that you will probably influence 8 of your friends, family or co-workers to purchase our product. So every sale translates to 9 total sales.

An even better example within my company is a room freshener. Our research shows that for every air freshener warmer we sell we can count on you buying a minimum of 11 refills. The research also shows that each consumer of this product can be expected to influence 13 other individuals. So when you call and say I am boycotting this product you are telling them that they are going to lose: 11 X 13 X 13 etc! on the refills. That is one person's influence. 100 people calling means a lot.

That is a very accurate but simplified example of what it means to the account managers when you say the word boycott. The biggest effect a boycott has is the PR attached to being a boycotted company. No company wants to be the "Company that was boycotted during any strike". Now factor in that my company has two main competitors and all three of the companies advertise on all the primetime networks. Do you need to get them all to pull out? NO! Once one pulls out the other two will as well. We all compete with each other and nobody is going to stand on a limb alone. You can take that piece of info to the bank because it is golden info! Whichever company pulls out first's next ad will read something like this, "We supported our consumers' wishes and backed the writers strike while our competitors sided with the corporations".

So will a boycott work? I believe it is the single most important thing that fans can do to help end this strike. It is the golden bullet. Stop the ad money flowing into the networks and you force them to end this strike. When companies start asking for their "buy back" because there is no way for the networks to deliver on their contracts this strike will be over!

So please call the companies I list every week. Be polite and firm. Call often. Tell them you will not buy any products that have their logo on it until the strike is over. Use the words boycott and tell them you are spreading the word!