Whole Foods

There is a very thought-provoking blog post by Lauren Fernandez that created some interesting discussion here at the AHA office. At the heart of it is the question – do we conform to social media standards or should they conform to us?

The challenge that Whole Foods is facing is an example; social media became a big part of this issue. Thanks to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other tools, more people learned about the letter and could weigh in, making their opinions known.

Should the CEO of Whole Foods NOT have written the letter to the editor because it could create a backlash, especially online, even though this was how he felt? Is the personal opinion of the CEO inextricably tied to the brand? Does “authentic” mean different things to different people and would keeping his opinion to himself, because of the risk to the brand, mean that the CEO isn’t authentic?

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Gerard Braud has an excellent article on the fallout of Whole Foods CEO (U.S.) John MacKay’s position on health care reform in the U.S.

There has been a huge backlash to MacKay’s letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal. There is now a movement to boycott Whole Foods – there is a Facebook page, a blog and you can follow the boycott on Twitter.

MacKay is entitled to his opinion. However, publishing that opinion in the Wall Street Journal might not have been the best use of his profile.

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