The only way the consultant knew how to address the matter was from a marketing and brand management perspective, "because that's the world I know," Ventre added.
In late January, Ventre sent packages to the airline's CEO and Marketing Leadership Team addressing their partnership. This was co-branding that had run its course.
Ventre suggested a meeting between Southwest leadership, journalists, filmmakers, scientists, ex-trainers, orca activists and so on to discuss cetacean captivity. "I also asked if I could set up a screening of the movie ‘Blackfish,'" she said. "The packages all included copies ‘Blackfish,' ‘Death at SeaWorld,' numerous articles and scientific papers."
The executives responded immediately, offering to review the materials. "They wanted to remain transparent and open in their desire to learn and educate themselves," Ventre recalled. "I was quite happy with their response and certainly took them at their word."
For a while, the company's spokesperson answered Ventre's emails regularly, but over time, perhaps because she made the emails public, the communication stopped. That's when Ventre wrote a critical blog, ‘Tainted LUV,' which was viewed thousands of times.