In her now famous interview with RDI, Karla Homolka revealed her plans following her release from prison:

Napier: And what will be the first thing that you’d like to do?

Homolka: This is stupid. I’d like to have an iced cappuccino. An iced cappuccino from Tim Hortons, that’s what I’d like to do.

When I read the above exchange on Monday, it prompted the following question: what do you do when a convicted serial killer endorses your product?

When we usually hear about such scenarios, it’s because a celebrity has committed or been accused of a crime. In those cases, the corporate sponsors decide whether to pull their ads and cut their ties to the celebrity. But, with Homolka, it’s an infamous criminal making a (presumably) unsolicited endorsement.

Tim Hortons should say nothing, unless asked. If they are asked to comment, they should do so in the context of Canadians at large and put the focus back on their existing campaigns. Saying “no comment” would be folly, since people typically think that term is tantamount to guilt. However, so far, I haven’t seen any news stories about Homolka’s utterly Canadian craving. This may be because Tim Hortons spends a huge amount on ad dollars and media outlets prefer not to offend the giant. The doughnut chain may have nothing to worry about after all.

Google’s cache of news stories has been updated. Tim Hortons has commented on the iced cap kerfuffle.

(c) 2005 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.