Okay, Maybe Crime Does Pay Sometimes

Discussion
Mar 03, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson


By all accounts, Martha Stewart’s conviction on federal securities charges and her subsequent jail term had little to no negative impact on the sale of products bearing her name.


Now that she’s served her time and is about to be released from jail, many believe that will not change, while others are looking for Martha ‘the brand’ to get a boost.


Count Lisa Noble, a senior vice president for Cramer-Krasselt public relations in Phoenix, among that group. “Not only will she survive,” Ms. Noble told The Arizona Republic,
“but I think she’s going to flourish. Her popularity is going to skyrocket.”


Rob Stearns, who teaches a class called ‘Delusions, Disasters and Decisions’ at the W.P. Carey School of Business said, “She has to look at the cameras the day she steps out
of prison . . . and say, ‘I was wrong. I apologize,’ ”


“Americans love stories of redemption, and she’s a terrific candidate for redemption,” he said.


Even if she doesn’t apologize for her past actions, many think Ms. Stewart will do just fine. Based on interviews done by The Arizona Republic, many who buy Ms. Stewart’s
products see her as a fall person for a common crime that normally isn’t prosecuted.


Moderator’s Comment: Will the Martha Stewart brand become even bigger now that she’s paid her debt to society?
George Anderson – Moderator


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13 Comments on "Okay, Maybe Crime Does Pay Sometimes"


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Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

Whatever the rights and wrongs of what she did and the way that she was punished for it, what’s done is done and having served her sentence, I can only see the great American public welcoming her back into their homes as a heroine. She did what she had to do, swallowed the sentence and now wants to climb back on top. How can anyone blame her for that? It simply wouldn’t be the American way.

Wendy Borders
Guest
Wendy Borders
15 years 8 months ago

As a company, Martha Stewart is obviously not just the person, it is a highly efficient and knowledgeable staff that facilitate her success. The popularity of the products and services that her company offers is primarily due to the ingenuity of the professionals that come up with the ideas and marketing for those ideas. Martha is just the spokesperson and recognized figure for the company. Therefore, the success of the company will only continue to grow from here if the niche that they have created continues to increase in population numbers and continues to serve as a fulfilled need for those who tune in to the program, buy the magazines and are consumers of the products. Martha Stewart as a persona may rebuild credibility, therefore lending a stronger balance for the management team, but she is only a single part of a multi-faceted equation to the company success.

Mark Burr
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

I am all for a second try for everyone upon paying their debt. But along with that usually comes an admission and an apology. She has done neither. I remain mystified by the whole aura of this woman. I don’t get the connection, the popularity, the products, etc. It makes no sense. I am left shaking my head.

Tom Zatina
Guest
Tom Zatina
15 years 8 months ago

I have come across a lot of people who do not think that her crime was such a big deal. They add that this is especially true when Martha’s misdeeds are compared to those of a few other notables. In light of this, and given that she has nobly done her time, they are quick to forgive.

As for me, I am tired of hearing about Martha Stewart even though, at times, it provides some amusing relief from the more serious and pressing issues we face.

Art Williams
Guest
Art Williams
15 years 8 months ago

I wouldn’t be feeling so sorry for Martha if I felt that others were receiving the same or worse treatment, but I don’t. I think that the government made an example out of her because she is a powerful woman and an easy target. I don’t excuse or condone what she did, but I have a problem with unequal justice.

I agree that her brands and her TV shows will do better than ever and this negative publicity will be a big plus for her going forward. I think that she has handled all this especially well and that deciding to serve her sentence and get it over with rather than fight it forever in court was an excellent decision. Even though I’m sure it doesn’t sound like it, but I have never been a big Martha fan and think she has a terrible personality.

Franklin Benson
Guest
Franklin Benson
15 years 8 months ago

I dispute that she has “paid her debt to society.” If she had paid her debt to society she would compensate the shareholders of ImClone and MSO that lost their investments due to her actions.

Not to mention that a cancer-curing drug that ImClone was on the verge of producing lost its funding and is still awaiting final development.

David Livingston
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

Looks like the vacation at the West Virginia resort paid off. It was a good business decision to choose jail over appeals. Going to jail made Martha one of “us.” Spending millions on appeals would have made her look like an elitist snob. Good for Martha.

Ben Ball
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

I knew Martha was on her way to folk hero status when an acquaintance, who to my knowledge has never owned a share of stock of any kind, announced that they were using some of her husband’s retirement settlement to buy Martha Stewart stock.

Warren Thayer
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

I agree with Al’s sentiments that it would seem appropriate to lay low for awhile. She was beat up more than other similar offenders because she’s a woman and because she’s who she is. But net-net, what she did was wrong. Having said all that, hey, there’s opportunity here! Why should we be surprised by any of these actions? And, of course, actions do speak louder than words. It’s the only way to judge Martha, actually, since she’s such a chameleon and wordsmith. Oh, to answer your question, the Martha Stewart brand will be bigger than ever. It is perceived that she has paid her debt, and there’s enough resentment for authority out there to guarantee that.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
15 years 8 months ago
Martha Stewart, “now that she has paid her debt to society,” has become a “brand” that has picked up supporters since she, as a well-merchandised signal of repentance, voluntarily began her prison time early. As Spokesperson for the Splendiferous, she went down to her prison camp in Alderson, W.V., to develop a new business plan for her future. Good for her. She got a tough break. One might assume that in a sense of Disraeli defiance she said to herself, “Though I sit down now, the time will come when you will hear from me.” That “time” is coming and Martha plans to be mightier – and better – than before. Now she will have a new communication platform and she knows how to captive a targeted audience. Don’t be surprised if she uses her new TV platform to address not only in-home goodness but also perceived abuses such sentencing guidelines and further empowerment for women. This would renew her lead role in helping women seek both domestic perfection and earn social and economic justice.… Read more »
Carol Spieckerman
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

Martha’s brand will come back bigger and better than ever before, boosted by her reality series right out of the gate and sustained by her business savvy and ability to reinvent (she’s done that a few times quite legally, ya know).

Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
15 years 8 months ago

I may well be in the minority, but there is something that rubs me the wrong way about all of this publicity for her new business ventures, new TV shows, etc. while she is still in jail and supposedly on her way to house arrest. Call me old fashioned, but I think the decent thing to do might be to lay low for just a bit.

James Tenser
Guest
15 years 8 months ago

Post-incarceration Stewart may not be bigger than ever, but I have little doubt that she will be successful overall. She has made prison into an opportunity to demonstrate her grace under adverse circumstances. That trait is apparently persuasive to investors and admirable to her fans. It is the real Martha? I doubt it, but she’s very much a construct of her own creation anyway.

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