Friday, November 18, 2011

An Unfortunate Case Of Branding

File this one under unfortunate cases of branding.

You probably know by now that Jerry Sandusky, the central figure in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, founded a charity called The Second Mile.  It's stated mission is "helping young people achieve their potential as individuals and as community members and providing education and support for their parents and youth service professionals."  Worthy goals, no doubt, but that mission has now been tainted by the charges against Sandusky.  As a result, a lot of people don't view The Second Mile in a very positive light.

In a recent article on The Huffington Post, we learn about the unfortunate effect the Penn State scandal has had on a Philadelphia-based organization called The Second Mile Center, a nonprofit thrift shop that helps ex-cons get back on their feet.  Although it shares a similar name to Sandusky's organization, they are in no way connected.  But given the similarity in the two names, people have confused the store with the scandal plagued charity.  Since the charges against Sandusky became public, The Second Mile Center has experienced a 30 percent drop in sales. 

Ron Lucas, who sits on the board of the nonprofit, told that they have received countless angry phone calls from people, most of whom hang up before they can explain that they have no connection to The Second Mile.  They have even put up signs on its door, one of which reads:
"We are not in any way connected to the Second Mile of the Penn State scandal. We are the Second Mile Center."
The Second Mile Center has been in existence for 30 years, while The Second Mile was formed in 1977.  It would be a shame if the negative attention towards that organization bought down this Philadelphia thrift shop.  In the mean time, Lucas and everyone else at The Second Mile Center can only hope people will start to learn the truth.

No comments: