June 07, 2015

#BoycottTims: Stephen Taylor, the man behind the hashtag, gives Tim Hortons free PR advice

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder

Longtime conservative activist Stephen Taylor is crediting with starting the #boycottTims trend on Twitter but Taylor, a public affairs consultant, has some advice on how Tim Horton's can turn this mistake and controversy around.

Taylor also revealed the identities of those behind the "grassroots" effort to pull the Enbridge ads in the first place.

Tim Hortons has declared war on Canada’s energy industry.
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commented 2015-06-08 12:31:45 -0400
Well only 28,000 environmental radicals signed the petition (started by an enviro group based in the US with a BC office) that Tim’s acted on. And even all those signatures are not 100% vetted to insure some didn’t sign multiple times from different locations under different names. Tim’s customer base in Alberta, just in the direct oil industry is probably 20X that number, and exponentially more when you start to factor in related industries and those who indirectly benefit from the industry. What Tim’s did was make a political statement against the Canadian Oil Industry – whether they are owned by Canadians or not – and not an acceptable one (no political statement from any business should be acceptable – stick to doing your business) and they are now and will continue to pay the price until they do something about it. Absolute silence on the issue they caused is not an acceptable response.
If 28,000 people buy a Tim’s a day that’s $56,000.00 (using $2.00 a cup for ease). If only a small portion of Albertans who work in the Oil industry (never mind if you include other provinces like BC and SASK), say 10% of the ~450,000 people, stop drinking Tim’s, well the math is pretty easy.
They need to apologize to Albertans and Canadians, put the Enbridge Ads back in their stores for 2 weeks, and make a substantial donation to CAPP (http://www.capp.ca/about-us/our-mission) in support of their advertising, in my opinion.
commented 2015-06-08 12:01:17 -0400
I’d like to hear ANYTHING from Tim Horton’s in this.
commented 2015-06-07 23:08:16 -0400
I’d like to hear a rational based explanation from Tim Horton’s on this.
commented 2015-06-07 22:14:04 -0400
Stephen Taylor makes so much sense. It is kind of simple. How could Timmy’s have been so stupid. That was some crappy marketing move.
commented 2015-06-07 20:55:09 -0400
Bah! Just go the Starbucks. Much better coffee, anyway!
commented 2015-06-07 20:15:29 -0400
Prince Knight…..everybody seems to be talking about this. I have emailed Tim H to voice my opinion & have passed on Ezra’s email to many others as well. When I go to town I make it a habit to pick up a Timmies but not the last time. I will go without or go somewhere else. Hope everyone commenting here is doing their part. So, all in all for now anyways the move is on & let’s keep it going.
commented 2015-06-07 18:54:44 -0400
Wow – Tim’s is playing stupid on this one – reverse the decision and move on.

C’mon Tim’s, you’re not that dumb, are you?
commented 2015-06-07 18:38:25 -0400
Someone at Tim’s corporate certainly misjudged Tim’s customer base. In my business this is a firing offense but perhaps Tim’s corporate have devolved to accommodating mediocrity in management and the culprit will be given a gold parachute to another corporate venue where no doubt he will attempt to mix fringe politics with business models without a clue to the customer base demographics.
commented 2015-06-07 18:00:22 -0400
Good article.

That being said, Tim Horton’s may have been smarter to not accept the Enbridge contract in the first place (to avoid political confrontation). Further, Tim Horton’s ownership is no longer in Canada, and no longer thinks Canadian, and that’s why they a) accepted the contract, and b) caved to foreign agitator pressure.

As far as boycotting Timmie’s goes, I don’t think this “movement” will be very effective — it’s sending exactly the same message as the foreign agitators. What’s a company to choose from? Boycott on one side (advertising) or boycott on the other (consumer base). Either way, Timmie’s is facing a lose-lose situation. They’ll accept the policy that is the least damaging to the bottom line — and it likely won’t be the consumer end (there won’t be enough of the populace actually doing the boycotting). Moreover, the majority of “boycott” movements have historically had little-to-no effect on whoever has been boycotted.

My suggestion to the Tim Horton’s ownership would be to screen potential advertising clients a little more thoroughly and take a harder look at potential backlash regarding those potential clients.