Whenever a company (or a company’s top executive) does something that ticks off a segment of the population, there’s usually talk of people calling for boycotts of that company’s products and services. But can a boycott bring about change on its own, or does it risk only hurting the low-level employees who are probably not the target of the protest? A boycott’s success frequently has less to do with an immediate loss of revenue than it does with the public’s reaction to the boycott. [More]
Barilla is the world’s largest manufacturer of delicious boxed pasta. Their marketing features a cuddly family eating delicious pasta, associating pasta with “home.” Not all homes, though. In a radio interview, company president Guido Barilla said that the brand would never put out an ad featuring a family headed by a homosexual couple. Gay rights supporters have concluded that Barilla doesn’t want their business, and called for a boycott. [More]
Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello is apparently so bitter at the pricing of his upcoming box set that he’s telling fans not to buy it and to spend their money on Louis Armstrong’s music instead. A post on his official site calls the price of The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook “either a misprint or satire.”
If the personal life of a Fortune 500 CEO starts making headlines, you can be sure that the investors — and maybe even the general public — won’t be able to extricate the person from the brand. But what about when there is a public outcry against one of that company’s major investors?
My how things change overnight. Yesterday, we told you about the far-from-loony folks at the American Family Association who had called for their members to boycott Dick’s Sporting Goods because the retail chain used the word “holiday” instead of “Christmas” for its November and December sales circulars. Now the AFA has announced that it’s called off the boycott because Dick’s will be using that word after all.
American Family Association Calls For Boycott On Dick's Sporting Goods For Not Using The Word "Christmas"
Even though the Burger King ad featuring a mail man singing about being chewed on by attack dogs hadn’t been out long enough to be a Worst Ad In America 2010 nominee, we’re pretty sure it will have one semi-famous person, Shorty Rossi of Animal Planet’s Pit Boss, backing its nomination next year.
While there’s much heated discussion about Arizona’s controversial new immigration laws, the folks at AriZona Iced Tea have somehow found themselves caught in the crossfire, with some even calling for a boycott on the beverage brand. That’s why one of the founders of the company wants everyone to know that, just like inauthentic picante sauce, they’re originally from New York City.
The menu of a restaurant in Winston-Salem, NC, says a gratuity of 15% will be added to parties of six or more. A former customer says she was in a party of three and saw that an 18% gratuity had been added, which she complained about but paid. She said the next time she showed up, she was met at the door by staff and told that she had to agree up front to pay 18% or she couldn’t eat there.
Memo to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey: when much of your customer base consists of reusable-bag-using, wheatgrass-munching “progressive” types, it’s probably not such a good idea to publish an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing current health care reform proposals. At least if you don’t want said customers organizing boycotts of your stores.
Ted Kefalinos, the proprietor of a bakery in Greenwich Village (a neighborhood in New York City), can’t understand why the media is having such a field day over his Drunken Negro Head cookies. They’re fun! Nobody complained about his dead geese cookies last week! He’s got a Cuban brother-in-law! We’d be more willing to believe it was just a bad marketing decision if it weren’t for the follow-up comments a customer alleged he made.
According to the Star Tribune, Starbucks recently decided to resurrect its original bare-breasted mermaid logo, much to the dismay of the Christian group, “The Resistance,” who is calling for a national boycott. The logo, based on a 16th Century Norse woodcut, will be on Starbucks cups for at least a few more weeks and will be the permanent logo for Pike Place bags of coffee. According to the Christian group, the logo “has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute,” and that “the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks.” We didn’t even know that mermaids had legs. More, inside…
A Pizza Hut delivery driver with a valid handgun permit has been fired after he shot an armed robber who put a gun to his head and demanded he turn over his cash. Now an Iowa state senator is calling for a boycott of Pizza Hut:
“You tell me any Iowan that was in his situation, that had a gun put to his head, how they would’ve reacted differently,” state Sen. Brad Zaun of Urbandale said. “I think it’s the wrong decision by Pizza Hut and I will not be buying any more Pizza Hut products.”
Pizza Hut says it’s against company policy for delivery drivers to carry guns, even with a valid permit.
USAToday says the eBay boycott over fee and policy changes has driven listings down as much as 13%:
Here we are a few days into a week-long eBay boycott over policy and fee changes and no one is sure if it is having any effect. It appears that listings are down 3%, but no one is sure if the drop is the result of the boycott.
While we’re riding Metafilter like the magical pony on a journey to its navel that it is, let’s extract this bit of fried gold and take it along for the ride. In response to a fan of The Family Guy, outraged about Fox’s scheduling problems and proposes a boycott, Lore Sjoberg writes:
I’m already boycotting my cable company. Can I, you know, sub-boycott? Or do I have to end my boycott of Comcast so that I can get Family Guy and not watch it?