Thursday, August 14, 2014
Activists have gone after SeaWorld for its treatment of marine mammals. SeaWorld is admitting for the first time that media attention to the issue has hurt attendance and earnings. This is the equivalent of a gut wound. SeaWorld depends on its orcas to draw spectators in. If it should lose their services or the public boycott its shows, there isn't much the company can do but shut down. SeaWorld isn't at that point yet but it is in need of a major PR campaign to explain to the public just how it treats its animals. The company can't win by hunkering or even by political lobbying. It needs to go all out to counter activists' charges by opening its venues for scientific and public inspection. It needs to prove that its mammals are at least in the same shape as they would be in the wild -- or even better off. Simply countering charges that its animals are suffering by denying the allegations won't be enough. It's a tough time for the company but not yet fatal. It is up to SeaWorld to turn around public opinion.