Some major American brands and companies are shunned by Republicans. According to right-wing conservative America, companies like Disney are more ‘woke’ because they deal more with social issues. What is going on?
The United States is extremely divided, and as a result companies are pressured by employees, customers and shareholders to take a stand. It didn’t work well for Bud Light. The American beer brand’s sales plummeted after it teamed up with transgender social media star Dylan Mulvaney. Well-known Republicans called for a boycott of the beer brand.
According to brand philosopher Paul Morse, such a boycott is one of recent years. “Society is so divided that it’s hard for companies to take a stand. Yet we’re seeing brands speak up, especially after the rise of social media.”
We’ve also seen this in the Netherlands recently, but not as seriously as in the US. “In America, Democrats and Republicans live in two completely different worlds,” says Moyers. “Everything is very moderate in the Netherlands.”
‘Issuing a political statement is bloody related’
Meanwhile, US politicians are also meddling in corporate positions. For example, Walt Disney ran into trouble last year with Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis passed the “Homosexuality Act” in 2022, which prevents teachers from discussing sexual orientation. Disney expressed support for the LGBTQ+ community, angering the governor.
Disney announced Friday that it will not invest hundreds of millions in Florida as Gov. Ron DeSantis does everything he can to rein in the company’s power. According to the brand philosopher, that was to be expected. “Coming up with a political statement is associated with bloodshed,” Moyers says. “If you do, you’ll lose half of your customers in a country like America.”
Companies are acting more cautiously
According to Moyers, these kinds of reactions make companies more careful about what they say. And many brands seem to be withdrawing from the public debate. “I think it’s a shame,” says the brand philosopher. “We don’t necessarily agree, but I respect it when a company dares to express an opinion.”
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