It’s been a very political week with companies from Lyft to Starbucks protesting the newly announced Trump executive order banning refugees from specific countries. Here are a few companies that opted to employ social impact or cause marketing efforts as a protest strategy.
As is often the case, those who responded quickly with large commitments were widely lauded and won prompt consumer affection in the social sphere (assuming political alignment).
Starbucks First Out of the Gates With Pro-Refugee Announcement
In response to Trump’s executive order, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was quick to announce a commitment to hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years with an initial focus on those who had served the U.S. military as translators or other support positions. This move was well aligned with Starbucks existing jobs- and employee-focus, lending this very public statement an air of authenticity. While a #BoycottStarbucks movement started on Twitter, the hashtag was quickly overtaken by pro-Starbucks voices.
Lyft’s $1 Million ACLU Pledge
Lyft made big headlines last weekend with its $1 million commitment to the ACLU (who filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on the ban) in initial contrast to rival Uber, who was criticized (#deleteuber) for canceling surge pricing at JFK airport as taxi drivers stopped service in protest to the executive order. Uber later said it would establish a $3 million fund to assist drivers affected by the refugee ban.
Rounding It All Up
This article on Upworthy did a fantastic job rounding up a large number of corporate commitments and actions in response to the refugee ban. And speaking of Upworthy, did you hear they’re joining forces with GOOD? Kudos!
Speaking of International Issues…
Over on CauseTalk Radio this week, Joe and Megan interview researcher Jessica Li about how values and culture impact CSR efforts. Jessica has some good advice and important insights about how effective your CSR strategies may be abroad. If you need a break from the politics, tune in!