Skittles Sales Soaring Amid Trayvon Outrage

But company is worried about PR issues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2012 12:56 PM CDT
Skittles Sales Soaring Amid Trayvon Outrage
Jajuan Kelley, of Atlanta, wears a Skittles wrapper over his mouth during a rally in memory of Trayvon Martin, March 26, 2012, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Much like hoodies, Skittles have become a symbol for Trayvon Martin supporters. They've been piled into makeshift memorials, handed out at rallies, and more. But despite the soaring sales, people at Wrigley, the Mars subsidiary that makes Skittles, are nervous about the PR implications, the New York Times reports. "You get trained if someone dies eating your product," says one marketing professor, "but I don't think anyone has been through training for something like this."

So far, Wrigley has put out only a brief statement saying that it is deeply saddened by the incident, but that it would be "inappropriate" to say more "as we would never wish for our actions to be perceived as an attempt of commercial gain following this tragedy." But already some are arguing that Wrigley ought to donate some of its windfall to appropriate causes or charities. But PR experts say even that won't fend off criticism; some will complain it didn't give enough. (Read more Skittles stories.)

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