Companies sponsoring stuff would have whistled with relief that they weren’t BNZ when a prominent rugby player taped over their logo on his shirt.
While rugby organisations did their usual stuck-in-headlights routine, the BNZ was left alone to say it was unfazed by the individual’s action and he was free to choose.
It was a fair response, and got them through it. They escaped because their customers generally take sponsorship, and grand-standing by sporting players, with a pinch of salt.
Still, BNZ’s innocuous response was too pedestrian for our tastes. When the subject of your sponsorship says he’s ethically opposed to what you do, why should you stand for it?
An alternative response would have been something like: “Under our contract he’s entitled to his choice, but he is wrong to dismiss our choice of business and the choice of our hard-working customers. We help people do better with their money – to save for Christmas or retirement, and to buy homes and businesses. That’s a noble and necessary enterprise and we’re proud of it.”