Ryan Lochte

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Brands generally don’t want to be associated with sexual harassment and hate speech, but there are a few reasons marketers keep getting stuck in these bad situations. Taking a quick look at ways companies can avoid being linked to Fox’s alleged sexual predators and Breitbart’s and YouTube’s alt-right troubles, I’ll propose solutions that can stave off brand Armageddon.

Americans seemingly don’t want to let go of Rio 2016. The emotional attachment’s been apparent through ad engagement and endless comments on social media about the Olympians, good and bad — as in, from Aly Raisman to Ryan Lochte. That’s why the top-performing ad, Hershey’s “Hello from Home” with gymnast Simone Biles, logically fits.

Speedo is used to being the butt of jokes; but on Monday, the brand made it clear to the world that what Olympian Ryan Lochte did was no laughing matter. Speedo USA cut ties with Lochte, who apologized about his false report to Brazilian police regarding being robbed at gunpoint. In truth, the drunk swimmer vandalized a gas station bathroom and got confronted by security guards.

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