"Duck Dynasty" the Albatross Around Franklin Company's Neck?



Lance Williams over at the Tennessean has an interesting story about how the Doug Jeffords Company, a spice company out of Franklin, has inked a deal with the Duck Dynasty family.

I just have one quibble. Williams writes:

The details for the products are still being finalized, including the label design and retail partnerships, he said. Most of the Duck Dynasty product line is featured at Wal-Mart stores, along with outdoor retailers like Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops. The spices should hit store shelves within the next 90 days, he said.

The television show's growing popularity has morphed its franchise into a retail powerhouse.

That last part is not completely true. 'Duck Dynasty' is a retail powerhouse, but its audience is a third of what it was at its height. (Here's an LA Times story about it that's pretty disgusting in its stereotypes of the Robertsons and fails to address the fact that they're not actually rednecks, but rich people who get to play redneck when it suits them, but it still explains that, "'Duck Dynasty' is still a hit, albeit one with ratings about one-third the size of their peak of nearly 12 million viewers last year, according to Nielsen.") So, the show isn't growing in popularity any more.

But does that mean that it's a bad deal? I don't know. In the "con" column, you have Phil still shooting off his mouth about black people, gay people, and his unusual views about the benefits of child brides. If he stays at his current level of dumb-assed-ness, then the Doug Jeffords Company is probably fine. But, like the old joke says, there's preaching and then there's meddling and it's awfully hard for a man who loves to preach to keep from crossing into realms other people find to be meddling. The Doug Jeffords Company is hitching their wagon to an uncertain mule. Plus, they missed the peak of the show's popularity. That would seem to be a big downside.

But I'm curious about something else from that LA Times article:

"It's a strong, strong franchise and will continue for a number of years," said David McKillop, executive vice president and general manager of A&E Networks, in an interview.

As for the dust-up last December, he added: "I don't think there's any definitive proof that the controversy itself had an impact on the ratings. These things tend to burn very, very bright and then begin to settle into a plateau."

The number of viewers that plateau represents is very satisfactory to A&E. So, it may represent a great number of potential customers for the Doug Jeffords Company, even if it's not as great as it once was.

I'll be curious to see how this works out for them.

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