Primary File

Superman: Man of Steel! . . . Or . . . Man of Boycott?

Bradley W. Brooks, Steven M. Cox, Karen Shearer Dunn, Michael Kobre
May 1, 2014
North America
Strategy & General Management
12 pages
congnitive, cognitive dissonance, publicity, Promotion, Public Relations
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

In February 2013, DC announced a special anthology of Superman stories that would be cowritten by Orson Scott Card, who had actively spoken out against gay marriage. In response to the announced hiring of Card, over 16,000 people signed a petition to boycott the anthology (Truitt, 2013). Further, a few comic book retailers had refused to carry DC’s iconic Superman comics (Sieczkowski, 2013). The Superman franchise was one of DC Comics most profitable assets. At stake were not only graphic novel sales, but also movies and memorabilia. The concerns over how the boycott could affect movie revenues were particularly troubling since DC would be introducing a new Superman movie into theaters in June 2013. DC was counting on this movie being one of the summer blockbuster hits. Executives at DC Comics needed to determine the best course of action in light of the negative publicity surrounding Orson Scott Card’s position as a writer on the anthology.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Interpret the effect of negative publicity on products and services.
  2. Use cognitive dissonance theory to identify dissonant cognitions concerning Orson Scott Card and Superman.
  3. Recommend and support a course of action for DC Comics.