6 Brands Playing Footsie with Conservatives and Paying the Price
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Later, the Huffington Post reported that that the company had indeed lost customers.
5. Rush Limbaugh and Snapple
Early this year Sandra Fluke testified to a panel of Democratic House members following a male-only Republican hearing on birth control. She testified that the "Obamacare" health insurance mandate to cover birth control is important to the health of women. She told of a friend who, as a student, needed treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome, which is treated using contraceptive hormones costing over $100 per month. Some insurance companies deny coverage for contraception, which is a financial hardship for many women.
Rush Limbaugh once again shocked the sensibilities of much of the public, declaring Fluke to be a "slut" because she used birth control. The public had had enough of this, and turned on Limbaugh's advertisers. Again, social media enabled people to take action.
Companies, seeing the damage that was occurring, began to flee. Look at the reports of the numbers of companies that stopped advertising in reaction to social media-generated pressure: March 6, Hollywood Reporter, Rush Limbaugh Sponsor Exodus Hits 43 as Sandra Fluke Fallout Continues, March 10, Think Progress, BREAKING: 98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts, March 12, Think Progress again, EXCLUSIVE: 140 Companies Drop Advertising From Rush Limbaugh [Update: 142].
But these are not the first advertisers whose brands were hurt by their association with Limbaugh. Snapple-brand iced tea has never recovered from public reaction to the company being a major sponsor of Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990s. To this day people believe rumors about Snapple being associated with the far right, including one that the company is owned by the KKK.
6. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Intuit, Mars, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, AT&T, GM, Walgreens and Other Companies That Support Or Supported ALEC
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a secretive, far-right organization the pushes stealth laws supporting right-wing and large-corporate interests through state legislatures. The organization is supported by right-wing, “conservative movement” funders and corporations seeking tax breaks and other legislation that gives them an edge over their competitors. These companies thought ALEC could stay under the radar and their donations would be hidden from the public. But the organization's right-wing agenda enraged the public and led to increased scrutiny, which led a number of companies to be very publicly embarrassed.
ALEC was first exposed when the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and The Nation obtained documents showing the extent of the organization's activities. The Nation's article ALEC Exposed, and CMD's ALEC Exposed website tell the story.
Then, the Trayvon Martin shooting case exposed how ALEC helped push through Florida's dangerous "shoot first" law in Florida, and people became fed up. Now people are learning that ALEC is also getting state laws passed that limit the voting rights of minorities, limit the power of working people to negotiate for better wages and limit the power of citizens to fight for cleaner environment.
The NY Times, listed a number of companies by name and tied their names to the right-wing agenda in an editorial, Embarrassed by Bad Laws, which brought public pressure on corporations supporting ALEC,
The council, known as ALEC, has since become better known, with news organizations alerting the public to the damage it has caused: voter ID laws that marginalize minorities and the elderly, antiunion bills that hurt the middle class and the dismantling of protective environmental regulations.
... In recent weeks, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Intuit, Mars, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have stopped supporting the group, responding to pressure from activists and consumers who have formed a grass-roots counterweight to corporate treasuries.