JCP apologizes, but is it enough?

By the time you read this, you have probably seen the new JCPenney ads asking customers for another chance. Here’s my take, from a recent RetailWire panel discussion:

The “mea culpa” ad isn’t nearly enough, but it’s a start. JCPenney (note that they ditched the new JCP logo in the spot) has been swamped by so much negative publicity in the past few months that some sort of acknowledgement of missteps was in order. The creative problem with this spot is that it was put in place before Ron Johnson and his team were fired, and has too much of the “new JCP” flavor and focus on a young consumer.

But a more fully developed marketing campaign needs to follow whatever changes Penney decides to put into place — keeping some of the shops, ditching others, returning to a promotional cadence, and so on. I would expect and hope to see a stronger branding effort later in the year, once Penney decides who it wants to be and what consumer it is trying to reach.

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