America Tells Corporations to Stop Bullying on Political and Social Issues

Most Americans Prefer Corporations to Avoid Political Involvement, Reveals a New Survey by Gallup and Bentley University.

A recent Gallup and Bentley University poll indicates that a significant portion of Americans, approximately 60%, prefer corporations to abstain from engaging in political and social debates.

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This comes amidst a noticeable rise in corporate activism, especially on polarizing issues, which seems to be wearing on the American public’s patience.

While some executives have adopted and promoted “woke” ideologies, the survey implies that such strategies might harm a company’s public image.

Interestingly, Americans do show support for businesses that advocate for issues like climate change (55%), mental health (52%), free speech (49%), and healthcare (48%).

However, they largely oppose corporate participation in matters related to abortion (26%), political candidates (19%), and religion (15%).

Specific issues like LGBTQ+ rights, racial matters, and gun laws also see limited support, with only 37%, 45%, and 39% approval, respectively.

Furthermore, only 34% believe corporations should weigh in on immigration policies, and a mere 27% think they should involve themselves in international conflicts.

Several U.S. corporations, such as Target, Adidas, and Bud Light, have faced substantial backlash due to their socially conscious advertising campaigns.

Bud Light, for instance, experienced a nearly $400 Million loss in U.S. sales following a controversial campaign featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The campaign, which involved personalized cans featuring Mulvaney’s face, sparked outrage and a boycott, ultimately reducing Bud Light’s sales by over a quarter year on year and wiping $5 billion off the brand’s value.

Target, too, encountered a dramatic downturn, losing over $4 billion in market value in less than three weeks after a scandal involving its LGBT Pride month product release.

The retail giant’s sharp decline, particularly after its release of a ‘tuck friendly’ female swimwear line, has been labeled ‘stunning’ and ‘almost unprecedented’ for its stock in two decades.

As of Friday, Target’s stock has dropped from a $181 52-week high to just $105.

Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary warns that such drastic collapses should serve as a red flag to CEOs contemplating the adoption of woke marketing strategies.

He emphasizes that while businesses may strive to adhere to modern woke standards, they must not lose sight of their primary objectives: satisfying customers, supporting employees, and rewarding shareholders.

O’Leary also highlights the amplified impact of customer outrage in the era of social media, suggesting that corporations need to be mindful of the messages they release into the digital world, where control is often elusive.

He proposes the establishment of dedicated communications and media committees on boards to navigate these complex and potentially perilous waters.

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