Corporate sponsors are nervous over the thought of being associated with the mayhem that is bound to arise in Cleveland when the Republican National Convention kicks off in July.
According to the New York Times, sponsors like Apple, Google, Walmart, and Coca-Cola are having second thoughts about their various products and brands being associated with candidates who have called for the deportation of various people and the patrolling of “Muslim neighborhoods.”
“The pressure is emerging as some businesses and trade groups are privately debating whether to scale back their participation, according to interviews with more than a dozen lobbyists, consultants and fund-raisers directly involved in the conversations.”
It’s a troubling time for Corporate America. Bigoted Republicans also drink Coca-Cola and use Apple products, but should they take the risk of being associated with widespread hate speech in exchange for trying to market to everyone possible? All these brands have updated their images, promoting progressiveness and having multicultural people in their commercials.
Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman, declined to explain the reduction in support. But officials at the company are trying to quietly defuse a campaign organized by the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change, which says it has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding that Coca-Cola and other companies decline to sponsor the convention.
According to the petition, donating to the event is akin to endorsing Mr. Trump’s “hateful and racist rhetoric.”
The Color of Change campaign is being joined by Hispanic. Muslim, and women’s rights organizations in warning companies that their brands might be tainted by Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
Companies like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, and Walmart have either drastically reduced their contributions to the party or are still deciding whether they will contribute at all.