After JCPenney reported poor second-quarter results, Ron Johnson admitted he’s made some serious mistakes as the company’s CEO.At the top of the list? JCPenney’s massive television marketing campaign, which apparently confused customers.
Women’s Wear Daily published comments Johnson made at an investor meeting about how he planned to turn around the advertising strategy:
“He said the marketing “overreached. It didn’t do the hard work. People found it entertaining but it wasn’t doing what we needed to do to build our business. There was too much TV and not enough print.
“It’s very clear that withdrawing from the promotional model to the everyday model was harder than anticipated, but the promotional model had run its course….This company was founded on the everyday pricing strategy. The everyday business model is unique to us and is in our DNA,” Johnson said.”
New television spots clarifying pricing will air in September and the company will also do more newspaper advertising, Johnson said.
When Johnson took over, the department store released a series of commercials. The first featured a woman screaming about confusing promotions and led to complaints about the volume.
Then JCPenney started a new series of commercials with Ellen Degeneres struggling to return a toga in ancient Greece and complaining about the price of hats in Edwardian England.
Johnson’s comments weren’t the first sign of trouble for the company’s marketing: the executive Johnson brought in to turn around JCPenney’s image left after only six months.
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