Boeing’s marketing versus Boeing’s actions

Boeing’s marketing department is at it again.

We couldn’t help but notice that this week’s edition of the Redmond Reporter contains a full-page color ad, taken out by the aerospace giant, proclaiming its loyalty to Washington and declaring itself “proud to be here”:

Boeing's love letter (or postcard) to Washington
The ad’s text reads: Greetings from Washington, “The Evergreen State”… Proud to be here building something better. Washington State is home to nearly half of all Boeing employees worldwide. Boeing has added nearly 30,000 employees in the past decade, including more than 3,700 new hires in 2014. Boeing is proud to be the state’s largest private employer, and has invested billions of dollars in Washington since 2003. At Boeing, we’re proud of our State of Washington heritage and Washington workforce, now over 81,000 strong. Add that to more than 2,000 partners and suppliers across the state. Facts that underscore our continued growth, investment and commitment to this very special place.

When we saw this ad, we couldn’t help but think of all these headlines from last year, which summarize recent actions taken by Boeing that affect our state:

Those headlines are just from last year. Remember when Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago after the turn of the century? Or when Boeing threatened to build the 787 somewhere other than Washington? Or when it went ahead and opened a second assembly line for the 787 in South Carolina, after having received enormous tax breaks to build the 787 here?

There’s a disparity in this relationship. Washington has unquestionably been very generous to Boeing, but Boeing has hardly been generous to Washington.

Boeing is not showing us much loyalty in return for the billions in tax breaks we’ve doled out to them – but they’d certainly like us all to think that we are.