In a sudden change of corporate spending plans, nearly $1 million originally allocated towards a 2005 Keen Footwear advertising campaign has been set aside for contributions to a variety of non-profit organizations that are important to the company and its employees.
Keen CEO Angel Martinez came to this decision while driving listening to radio coverage of the tsunami devastation throughout Asia. He pitched the idea to pull the company’s forthcoming advertising campaign, including scrapping creative and retracting most of its media buy to employees.
According to the company, “Without debate or hesitation, everyone in the company quickly rallied behind the idea and signed off on the decision.”
Martinez has a long history of social responsibility. While at Reebok, he helped launch the Reebok Human Rights Program and the Reebok Human Rights Award. These programs helped bring Reebok to the forefront of corporate responsibility in the athletic footwear industry. Martinez still sits on the board of directors at these organizations along with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, Geralyn Dreyfous, Robert Redford, and many others.
“We were going to spend more than a million dollars in advertising and now were redirecting those monies,” said recently-promoted Keen president Jim Van Dine. “It was that sudden and that simple. The tsunami disaster reminded us of a promise we made to ourselves when we launched this company less than two years ago: to form a company that reflected our personal values. That includes having an active social conscience. Now more than ever is the time to keep that promise.”