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TIME Article Demands Brands Publicly Declare Political Loyalties

TIME Article Demands Brands Publicly Declare Political Loyalties

Stand and be counted, or else.

The battle against the overly politicized life is a never-ending brawl and one that’s only intensified since President Trump was inaugurated, sending the progressive movement into a tailspin.

Seth Matlins, Executive Vice President of Branded Impact at WME/IMG, wrote an opinion post, which TIME published online, demanding brands publicly declare their political allegiance or find themselves irrelevant.

But only if a brand’s political beliefs are the right value set, of course.

Consider that for taking a quiet stand against hate speech by pulling its ads from the alt-right site Breitbart, Kellogg’s is targeted with #DumpKelloggs by readers who saw the brand’s actions as an attack on their values. Target removes gender-based signage from its toy aisle, and outraged customers insist they’ll never set foot in the store again. Audi champions equal pay for women in its Super Bowl ad, and while the carmaker was applauded by some, others pilloried the brand across social media for suggesting things aren’t as they should be . And Starbucks’ stand for refugees and against the recent immigration ban led some to #BoycottStarbucks.

Five weeks into Donald Trump ‘s Administration, and at a time when expressing cultural values can end decades-long relationships in the time it takes to post 140 characters, consumers and employees are looking for new ways to be heard, represented and served. They’re increasingly voting with their voices, their choices and their wallets. Brands need to take heed, or pay the consequences.

What’s clear is that the people buying from you and working for you want to know if you’re on their side. Or not. They want to know if you’re doing something to make the world better. Or not. And they will reward — or ignore or perhaps even boycott — you accordingly.

Matlins argues “brands that nail their relationships with the cultural good are used more, advocated for more, preferred more and even forgiven more than those that don’t.”

What Matlins political orientation is, I don’t know, nor do I care, but the entire post smacks of the progressive desire to politicize everything in life down to our breakfast cereal.

I don’t care what Kellogg’s thinks of gay marriage or how Starbucks makes hiring decisions. I don’t care if Target wants to dip its toe in the social justice pool. As a consumer, I want quality goods at the best possible price. Our budget, not our politics makes these decisions.

Lady Gaga’s most recent Superbowl Halftime show was one of the most popular in years. The reason? Unlike far too many shows previously, Gaga’s performance was apolitical. As a result, sales soared.

Even for the social conscience motivated consumer, Matlins argument should be concerning. If brands choose to divulge their social and political views, fine but demanding they stand and be counted is imposing ideological homogeneity. What brands stand for might vary, but the idea that privately owned or publicly traded companies are required to “believe” in anything is ludicrous, not to mention dangerous.

As for me, I’ll be standing over here, rejecting the overly politicized life in all its forms and fashions.

[Featured Image: By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons]

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

My, how things have changed.

My father owned a delicatessen in the 50s and 60s. He never, ever told anyone who he voted for or who he supported politically. He was a pretty outspoken guy. Just not in the political realm. He even refused to tell me who he voted for.

That’s the way to be.

Formerly known as Skeptic | March 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Not clicking on Time, but if the excerpt is representative, what a load of hogwash. After giving examples where a corporation took a stand and LOST CUSTOMERS, the author suggests that the lesson is that corporations MUST TAKE A STAND. It seems to me that the lesson should be: Tell those that insist you take a stand to P*ss up a rope. Business is your business, not politics.

Good for Time! I appreciate them removing any cloak of credibility they ever retained as a news periodical.

    Old0311 in reply to Andy. | March 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    The glossy pages aren’t even good in the outhouse.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Old0311. | March 17, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Considering Time’s content, they should be printing it on newspaper (tabloid) quality paper. Besides, glossy paper is much less environmentally friendly.

With their ability to peddle foreign influence hit by revelations from Water Closet; profits from the [class] diversity rackets in a progressive decline; and the abortion industry sacrificing less unworthy human lives and taking a hit on their clinical cannibalism (e.g. organs, fetal stem cell therapy) affiliate; they demand loyalty pledges and donations. At least until the anti-native factions can disenfranchise Americans through Catastrophic Anthropogenic Immigration Reform (CAIR) and creative vote schemes.

Well, that tears it. Pretty soon we’ll have a petition demanding that all companies register their political beliefs with the IRS and BOTH of Time’s subscribers will sign it. Then where will we be?

Char Char Binks | March 16, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Kellogg’s took a stand against free speech rights. Is that a cultural value?

That’s great. Now I can find out whether the company that makes the leather lashes that I use to beat my household servants shares my progressive political values.

My company is apolitical. As for myself and my husband, it’s no one’s freaking business who we vote for.

Remember during the Hobby Lobby lawsuit over birth control coverage, they argued that a corporation cannot have religious beliefs? Now apparently they MUST have political beliefs.

How far we’ve come in such a short time. Less than two years ago every single person on the left, as far as I could tell, was convinced that corporations, even small and tightly-held ones, are soulless, and therefore inherently incapable of having values, beliefs, opinions, or consciences. Even if all the shareholders agreed on some value, they insisted, the corporation itself by its nature could not share that value because it’s a mere machine, and therefore compelling it to violate that value could not possibly shock its non-existent conscience and thus violate its rights. Now they insist that even such large and widely-held corporations as Kellogg, Target, and Audi can and must bare their values and champion them. Sorry, Mr Matlins, you can’t have it both ways.

TIME… the only “clock” in the world with two left hands..

Notice that Time article does not mention the huge lefty boycott of Trump businesses. Surprise, surprise…

Maybe it’s good business. Nordstrom declared against Ivanka’s line. Nordstrom took a hit, Ivanka is making record profits.

Being on the right side now actually means being on the right side not the left side. That’s new in the past few years, I think.

Subotai Bahadur | March 17, 2017 at 3:19 am

TIME itself has been openly Leftist for decades. Compare their circulation 30 years ago with today. Yeah, go ahead and declare your business’ fealty to the State and the Collective. Then start shopping for a bankruptcy lawyer.

Time? It’s still around? Legacy biased media is done and they know it.

Forcing a corporation to openly take a political stand is downright stupid. The bigger the corporation, the larger and more diverse its workforce.
How will they decide what stance to take?
That of the owners?
Take a vote among shareholders? Or maybe among employees?
Let the unions (if any) decide?
And once done, wouldn’t the ‘official political belief’ of the company alienate those who don’t share it? I am pretty sure leftists will have no problem alienating those on the right, but what if the ‘official political belief’ veers to the right? Hell to pay, right? As they are doing against Trump.
The left is really, really trying hard to grow their stupidity.

By the way, not long ago I purchased a one-year subscription of Time magazine. I regretted it with the first issue. Now it goes from the mail box to the trash can. And so do all those renewal notices.
I will not pay to be lied to, or to be told what/how to think.

Translation: Stalinists demand fascist loyalty statements.

Yes, I meant it. Ask me how.

Hold on a sec. Think this through. Companies have to declare their political opinions. This could a problematic suggestion that cures itself if enacted. We could all then stop buying products from companies whose politics ran counter to ours.

The value of these companies is based on projected GROWTH. Once you go political, you automatically alienate at least half of your customer base. Everyone shrinks. No more growth for anyone. Who do you think would fight this hammer and tong? Companies themselves!! Ask Rosie O’Donuts, Oprah, Target, Starbucks, every major newspaper in the world, and anyone else who added politics into their marketing mix what happens.

So yeah, let’s give that a try. It only works if we are uniting against a common enemy like.. oh, say… HITLER! In this case, it’s the global elites conspiring against the interests of the 99.9% of the population that buy their products! Brilliant!!!

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