Verizon Wireless responds!

Seth Kaplan

CLF staff writing on this blog, smart commentators and allied climate advocates have taken issue with Verizon Wireless appearing on the sponsor list for a Labor Day rally and concert that includes gathering of signatures for petitions against, and statements opposing, climate legislation.

A telephone conversation with Verizon Wireless Vice President Corporate Communications Jim Gerace led to him sending the following email giving his side of the story:

I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me.  You can use any of this email for your site if you’d like.

As we discussed, our involvement in the Labor Day event was initiated by some local sales people to do what we pay them to do — sell wireless phones.  When they were presented with the opportunity to spend $1,000 to have access to 50,000 (the estimate at the time) members of the community they sell in, they jumped at the chance.  The underlying purpose of the event was not made obvious to them.  They saw it as a Labor Day concert.  Our involvement is not a statement of our policy on these issues.  Many media and interested people have chosen to not believe that, but they need only look at our record to see how serious we are about protecting the environment we live and work in.  We didn’t wake up one day last week and change our minds.  The following link will bring you to some of our key initiatives in this area: http://aboutus.vzw.com/Green_Initiative/overview.html .  The first one called Hopeline is a program I created way back in 1995 and continue to direct today.  Our commitment to the environment is unwavering, that some want to believe otherwise is disappointing.

What do folks think?  They are saying this is an innocent mistake by a company that is generally trying to do the right thing. Do you buy it?  Comment below . . .

Personally, I am waiting to see Verizon and/or Verizon Wireless step forward and take affirmative steps to show leadership as some of the true leaders in all sectors of American business have already done. Perhaps they will.

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32 Responses to “Verizon Wireless responds!”

  1. This is easy. They made a mistake. So all they have to do is ADMIT THE MISTAKE AND APOLOGIZE. Since they haven’t, then they must still endorse the event, and the message, right? Text for the CEO: “We made a mistake in funding this event and we apologize.” End of bruhaha.

  2. This is easy. They made a mistake. So all they have to do is ADMIT THE MISTAKE AND APOLOGIZE. Since they haven’t, then they must still endorse the event, and the message, right? Text for the CEO: “We made a mistake in funding this event and we apologize.” End of bruhaha.

  3. This is easy. They made a mistake. So all they have to do is ADMIT THE MISTAKE AND APOLOGIZE. Since they haven’t, then they must still endorse the event, and the message, right? Text for the CEO: “We made a mistake in funding this event and we apologize.” End of bruhaha.

  4. This is easy. They made a mistake. So all they have to do is ADMIT THE MISTAKE AND APOLOGIZE. Since they haven’t, then they must still endorse the event, and the message, right? Text for the CEO: “We made a mistake in funding this event and we apologize.” End of bruhaha.

  5. Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!

    If this was an honest mistake and actually runs counter to what Verizon stands for, the natural step would be to withdraw sponsorship. Otherwise this conciliatory email means nothing… it’s just a few words tossed out to appease the activists. Actions speak louder than words, to be totally cliche about it.

  6. Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!

    If this was an honest mistake and actually runs counter to what Verizon stands for, the natural step would be to withdraw sponsorship. Otherwise this conciliatory email means nothing… it’s just a few words tossed out to appease the activists. Actions speak louder than words, to be totally cliche about it.

  7. Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!

    If this was an honest mistake and actually runs counter to what Verizon stands for, the natural step would be to withdraw sponsorship. Otherwise this conciliatory email means nothing… it’s just a few words tossed out to appease the activists. Actions speak louder than words, to be totally cliche about it.

  8. Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!

    If this was an honest mistake and actually runs counter to what Verizon stands for, the natural step would be to withdraw sponsorship. Otherwise this conciliatory email means nothing… it’s just a few words tossed out to appease the activists. Actions speak louder than words, to be totally cliche about it.

  9. baseball bobblehead

    As someone who raises money for non profits for a living (barely) I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that they knew exactly what they were getting into. Big companies like Verizon have entire departments dedicated to making sure that the organization’s name is attached to quality events and projects before any money changes hands.

    It may be true that they wanted to get cell phones in front of 50K people, but there’s no way someone high up on the food chain didn’t know what this event was.

    If they want to put their money where their mouth is, they’ll pull the funding and fire the community outreach department or whomever signed up for this sponsorship.

  10. baseball bobblehead

    As someone who raises money for non profits for a living (barely) I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that they knew exactly what they were getting into. Big companies like Verizon have entire departments dedicated to making sure that the organization’s name is attached to quality events and projects before any money changes hands.

    It may be true that they wanted to get cell phones in front of 50K people, but there’s no way someone high up on the food chain didn’t know what this event was.

    If they want to put their money where their mouth is, they’ll pull the funding and fire the community outreach department or whomever signed up for this sponsorship.

  11. baseball bobblehead

    As someone who raises money for non profits for a living (barely) I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that they knew exactly what they were getting into. Big companies like Verizon have entire departments dedicated to making sure that the organization’s name is attached to quality events and projects before any money changes hands.

    It may be true that they wanted to get cell phones in front of 50K people, but there’s no way someone high up on the food chain didn’t know what this event was.

    If they want to put their money where their mouth is, they’ll pull the funding and fire the community outreach department or whomever signed up for this sponsorship.

  12. baseball bobblehead

    As someone who raises money for non profits for a living (barely) I can tell you without any doubt in my mind that they knew exactly what they were getting into. Big companies like Verizon have entire departments dedicated to making sure that the organization’s name is attached to quality events and projects before any money changes hands.

    It may be true that they wanted to get cell phones in front of 50K people, but there’s no way someone high up on the food chain didn’t know what this event was.

    If they want to put their money where their mouth is, they’ll pull the funding and fire the community outreach department or whomever signed up for this sponsorship.

  13. And I suppose that if it was the national convention of neo-Nazi skinheads that Verizon would also say “When they were presented with the opportunity to spend $1,000 to have access to 50,000 (the estimate at the time) members of the community they sell in, they jumped at the chance. ”

    Give me a break…..

  14. And I suppose that if it was the national convention of neo-Nazi skinheads that Verizon would also say “When they were presented with the opportunity to spend $1,000 to have access to 50,000 (the estimate at the time) members of the community they sell in, they jumped at the chance. ”

    Give me a break…..

  15. And I suppose that if it was the national convention of neo-Nazi skinheads that Verizon would also say “When they were presented with the opportunity to spend $1,000 to have access to 50,000 (the estimate at the time) members of the community they sell in, they jumped at the chance. ”

    Give me a break…..

  16. And I suppose that if it was the national convention of neo-Nazi skinheads that Verizon would also say “When they were presented with the opportunity to spend $1,000 to have access to 50,000 (the estimate at the time) members of the community they sell in, they jumped at the chance. ”

    Give me a break…..

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