While the “cancel culture” phenomenon of publicly calling for boycotts or changes at a brand following missteps has risen dramatically in recent years, most marketers are not concerned, according to a recent study from Forrester. The report found that 57% of U.S. marketing executives in the business-to-consumer space believe threats of "cancellation" or boycotts will have no impact on sales of their brand. Some 59% of executives believe "cancellation" will not affect their brands.
“We’ve observed that: Cancel culture impacts personal brands more than company brands. People, rather than companies, can be materially impacted by the fury of cancel culture,” wrote Mike Proulx, VP and research director at Forrester, in a recent blog post. Yet he noted that companies are not always “immune to its effects.”
Forrester defines cancel culture as “a widespread public campaign (often via social media) to hold a company accountable for the consequences of a perceived wrongdoing.”