In the world of viral marketing, there are certain best practices that the top experts observe and by the same token, there are certain worst practices that they try to avoid. There will most certainly be a new addition to the latter list that incorporates what happened to poor Mark Oberholtzer.
Oberholtzer sold his truck to a local dealer who then sold it to an auction; the auction, in turn, sold the truck to a Turkish man who had it shipped overseas out of the port in Huston.
The next time Oberholtzer saw his truck was in this photo.
A contributor to The Long War Journal tweeted out the picture and it features Oberholtzer’s truck, complete with his company, Mark-1 Plumbing’s, name and logo carrying artillery into battle for members of the ISIS terror organization.
The photo went viral and those that viewed it began to send hurtful and threatening comments to Oberholtzer and his employees. Many of his workers no longer feel safe coming to work, and Oberhotlzer is currently attempting to sue the dealership to which he sold the car for $1 million in damages. Apparently, a stipulation of the sale was that the Mark-1 Plumbing decals be removed from the truck before it was re-sold. Obviously that didn’t happen.
The Importance of The Measured Response
This is a tragic comedy of errors but it is also a poignant reminder about the importance of going beneath the surface when controversies like these come up.
This country is gripped by fear and in times of fear scapegoating and mob mentalities can run rampant. scapegoating and mob mentalities can run rampant. Oberholtzer is not a terrorist. His company has nothing to do with terrorism apart from something well outside of his control. And yet, people across the country took one out of context photo as appropriate grounds to blacklist and berate him and his company.
We have to be more thoughtful than this. We have to research and understand before we blame and attack. If we don’t innocent people’s lives are ruined by our negligence.
Continue Reading: Is Toyota Supplying Trucks to ISIS?
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