Beedie case study examines misappropriation of First Nations imagery in marketingJul 02, 2015
A new case study by Beedie School of Business PhD candidate Stefanie Beninger and Associate Professor June Francis will enlighten students about the important issues surrounding the appropriation of First Nation’s imagery.
The teaching case outlines the controversy surrounding a 2012 marketing event in Hollywood hosted by Paul Frank Industries, a private American company owned by Saban Brands and the brand behind the well-known character Julius the Monkey.
During the event, stereotypical Native American imagery was used, including feather headbands, prop tomahawks, and war paint. The case details the ensuing backlash and challenges students and managers to consider what Paul Frank Industries could and should do next.
The case, “Paul Frank and Native American Stereotypes: A Case of Appropriation,” was published by Ivey Publishing, with the support of the Beedie Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership.
Francis and Beninger based their research largely on interviews conducted with Dr. Adrienne Keene, author of blog Native Appropriations, and Dr. Jessica Metcalf, author of blog Beyond Buckskin, both of whom blogged about the topic extensively at the time, along with Tracy Bunkoczy, Vice President of Design for Paul Frank Industries.
“This case is an excellent example of the classroom, research, and practitioners coming together,” says Beninger, who is also a Teaching Assistant in Francis’ Beedie Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership marketing class.
“Both Adrienne Keene and Jessica Metcalfe graciously gave their time to provide us with the context and information needed to bring this case to life, supported by their detailed coverage of the situation on their respective blogs. Paul Frank Industries contribution was also pivotal to this case, and their involvement shows their continued commitment to learning from this situation – and helping others to learn as well.”
The case will now become a mainstay in Francis’ marketing class in the program, along with Beninger’s BUS 449 ethical issues in marketing undergraduate class. It will also be available for instructors to use as part of a marketing, ethics, or public relations course, or in courses concerning management of cultural industries, such as fashion and music.
For more information, or to purchase the case, visit iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=68666