Companies getting involved in political situations is not a new subject. Just last year, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, remarked on the situation that put Chick-Fil-A in the middle of a dispute a few years back when he said the company supported traditional families which lead to some backlash from LGBT+ supporters5.
Since this event, Dan Cathy still remains staunch on his beliefs towards traditional families; but keeps it out of the company’s voice due to his opinions not being representative of all their employees, customers, and owners. (Maybe he should have thought about that before?)
There are other instances where companies tiptoed the political line to humanize their business whether it’s Bud Light using social media to support marriage equality, Patagonia sending out emails to customers urging them to vote for environmental issues they considered important or even Kenneth Cole who posted an ad with two handbags saying, “We’re pro-choice, after all, she’s the one carrying it.”6
The issue is – you have customers in all arena. Money spends the same no matter who spends it. Making choices politically – when it doesn’t match the purpose of your business e-x-a-c-t-l-y just fares bad. Like chicken – all races, creeds and sexes eat chicken. When you push your business outside of the main purpose of the business, you will feel the backlash.
So, as you can see, companies sticking their fingers into the political pie is something that has been happening for a long time, and we’re just going to see more and more of it.