Looking Stupid

Companies often look foolish to their consumers, that’s one of those business constants you can’t get away from. No matter how great your company is, they’re going to look foolish over some issue sooner or later. Most of the time, it seems like the biggest task is to try to stop looking foolish.

So why would you invite opportunity to look stupid, confused, and clueless?

I sent HBO an email a few days back after hearing rumors of their great series Deadwood being cancelled. This was the automated response I got back:

Thank you for writing HBO.

We appreciate your enthusiasm towards our series, "DEADWOOD". HBO is grateful that the series has such a devoted fanbase who contributed to the show’s success and making it an Emmy/Golden Globe winning HBO original. We are incredibly proud of the series and also believe it to be a powerful and authentic piece of programming. Be assured that your feedback is valued especially as we go forward with the upcoming third season, starting June 11th.

Despite recent articles on the future of our HBO original series "DEADWOOD", there has been no decision for the future of the series, and conversations regarding a fourth season are ongoing. Since "DEADWOOD" creator David Milch is working on another HBO Original series, we’ve granted our beloved Deadwood cast the latitude to pursue other projects, for the time being.
 
Once again, thank you for your interest and we hope that you will continue to find HBO to be a source of quality entertainment.

~ Sincerely, HBO Consumer Affairs Department ~

(I know it was auto-generated because another blogger posted the same message last week)

Considering that the show, despite fan efforts, was in fact cancelled last week, this line from the auto-response comes across as trying to hide the truth:

"…we’ve granted our beloved Deadwood cast the latitude to pursue other projects"

Beloved cast? Latitude to pursue other projects? Yikes. If they’d just been honest and dropped the PR-speak I might have been impressed and the openness. As it is, it just looks like they were trying to hide from my upset.

It’s easy to look stupid to your consumers – don’t make it easier.