Bad Marketing: Gun Giveaways

Here’s an example of bad marketing that I don’t recommend.
Apparently, in May, there’s going to be a raffle by New Hampshire police chiefs. Guess what first prize is? It’s worth about $2,000, and the raffle will pick its winner from 1,000 entrants in the sold-out contest.
It’s a gun. Not just an ordinary gun, but a military-style assault rifle. Even worse, it is similar to the weapon that was used to kill the 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn., in that horrible tragedy.
The raffle is planning to give away a firearm every day in May.
As a Boston marketing consultant, and someone who offers clients savvy and unusual marketing strategies, I can’t for the life of me figure this one out. What were they thinking? Would it be too much to offer a $2,000 debit card, or a year’s supply of gasoline, or groceries? Or a three-day escape somewhere to a New Hampshire resort, for two people?
I’m not the only one who thinks this way. This raffle has unleashed a torrent of criticism against the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police. And the first prize is only the tip of the iceberg. Other prizes include other semi-automatic rifles, hunting rifles, and semiautomatic and single-shot handguns.
John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence, a gun-control group in Newton, Mass., told The Boston Globe, “It’s disgusting that any law-enforcement agency would be voluntarily giving away military-style weapons.”
I wholeheartedly agree. It’s insensitive and in horribly bad taste – to say the least.

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