Travis Kalanick

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Marketers invest oodles in Google ads, but they woke up Monday to #googlememo and #GoogleManifesto hashtags. The Twitter trends highlighted a sexist screed that circulated in the powerful Silicon Valley tech firm. Chances are, the search giant’s quarterly advertising revenue will remain in the billions, but will the public call for an Uber-style leadership ouster? And what will that mean for marketers?

Brands concerned about social media backlash by consumers against their companies have justifiable fears — on Tuesday, public outrage caused Uber shareholders to give ride-sharing service CEO Travis Kalanick the boot.

Brands taking stands earn themselves viral social media reactions, but perhaps Uber and Starbucks have it right — be proactive, rather than waiting for a tweet from President Donald Trump to send stock prices tumbling. Supporting one cause may yield sales from one group, even as another bloc boycotts the marketer.

Making the bold proclamation yesterday that within the next five years he'd like to see "every car Ubered," the CEO of the app-delivered car service told a traffic-snarling crowd at Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco about his plans for the company.

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