Hallmark’s very, very bad week
11/05/2013 12:26 PM
11/06/2013 5:25 PM
Hallmark Cards — one of Kansas City’s best-known companies and larger employers — has had a very bad last week.
UPDATED 9 PM TUESDAY.
And it got worse Tuesday night.
• Last week the companyapologized
for a politically incorrect/offensive ornament that took the word “gay” out of the lyrics to the Christmas-time lyric “Deck the Halls.”
The company replaced “gay” with “fun” on the ornament. That set part of the social media world abuzz with criticism.
• On MondayHallmark announced
it was ceasing production of one line of products and trying to improve efficiency in another, eventually leading to the loss of up to 250 local jobs.
• And on Tuesday, the medical research tax in Question 1 in Jackson County was trounced.
Hallmark Chairman Donald J. Hall and the Hall Family Foundation he leadswere very big supporters
of the half-cent sales tax for medical research. Together, they had pledged to finance the construction of a $75 million building to house some of the researchers who could be funded with the $40 million a year created by the tax.
However, strong opposition mounted against the tax, and for good reasons. A sales tax levied in one county for this purpose — far afield from the usual use of these kinds of tax dollars — was not appropriate.
The defeat of the tax was yet another piece of bad news for the Hallmark name in Kansas City.