August 9, 2015, Target announced that it would be removing all of its gendered signs from its bedding and toys aisles in stores to work towards gender equality and acceptance. Target has stirred up quite a bit of controversy from both sides of the political fence, but they aren’t the only one’s to do so…
- JC Penny
JC Penny took its stand for marriage equality in its stores. Using Ellen DeGeneres as a figurehead, they displayed rainbow signs in their stores and showed gay families in their ads not once, but twice after immense homophobic and intolerant backlash. A trailblazer for LGBT rights in the commercial industry, JC Penny has stood their ground on this political issue. Read more HERE.
In 2013, a Cheerios commercial sparked major controversy in the US. THe commercial featured an interracial couple and their biracial daughter. Though endearing and heartfelt, the commercial was met with racist backlash from those who disagree with interracial marriage. Cheerios took a proud stand, saying that they wanted to properly represent the modern family, rather than the traditional white suburban family. Cheerios even went so far as to cast the same family again for a XLIIV** super bowl commercial. Read more HERE.
This story was the shot heard around the world. A Chick-fil-A, a chicken sandwich chain loved by many, representative came out (pun intended) to say that they favored traditionally marriage over marriage equality. Those who supported marriage equality showed their support for Chick-fil-A by lining up at restaurants around the country, while the opposition took to boycotting. However, in 2012, the chicken chain announced that they would leave issues of marriage to the government and political arenas. Read more HERE.
Oreo posted the above picture, standing with marriage equality, shocking Facebookers all around. Marriage equality supporters the world around shouted for joy as traditional marriage supporters set up boycotts. Read HERE about how this announcement may have actually helped Oreo’s business, rather than hurt it.
A Coke-a-cola commercial from 2014 stirred up major backlash from Americans. The commercial above featured Americans from all walks of life singing “America The Beautiful” in various languages. The backlash came from the opinion that American and Patriotic songs should only be sung in English. People voiced their opinions on social media, some even threatening to boycott Coke if they kept playing the commercial. Coke stood by their and instead of succumbing to the hate, aired a longer version of the commercial at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014, featuring more languages and varied representations. Read more HERE.
- Bud Light
The choice drink of many Americans posted the above picture back in 2013, showing their public support for marriage equality. While many found the post shocking, Bud light has been openly supportive of the LGBT community since 1999 when it advertised in a **gay magazine**, even going so far as to take up arms with the UFC against the homophobic and insensitive statements of their commentators. But that didn’t stop the boycotts and political debates from surrounding Bud Light. Bud Light handled it with grace and simply restated their support for the movement. Read more HERE.
- Boy Scouts
In 2013, Boy Scouts of America announced that they would allow openly gay members into their troops. Received as a shock and a potential betrayal to the many churches closely intertwined with the Boy Scouts of America, the company defended its decision as a way to appease the many lawsuits surrounding them. Recently, the BSA open begun to accept openly gay troop leaders and workers, citing similar reasoning. The reactions of Americans are mixed. Anti-LGBT advocates are disappointing in the BSA for stepping down, while the LGBT advocates are ambivalent stating that they wish the ruling was from true acceptance rather than a way to evade major lawsuits. Read more HERE.
Your favorite fresh burrito rollers took a very open stand against carrying in their store, responding to the plea of Moms Demand Action, a group formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The plea stems from the above picture of the Open Carry Texas movement who regularly practice their right to openly carry in places like Chipotle. The request from MDA encouraged Chipotle to release a statement that they would like to “…respectfully [ask] that customers not bring guns…” into their stores, saying that a ban on guns would put employees at risk of having to ask those armed customers to leave the store. Chipotle obviously received heated backlash from the NRA and Open Carry Texas. However, Chipotle has stood by its decision, citing the safety and sense of security among their customers as their only motivation. Read more HERE.
- Whole Foods
In late 2014, Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey stated that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is “like fascism.” Igniting quite a fire under its rather liberal customer-base, the organic grocery chain CEO stuck to his guns, stating that Obamacare is socialism and government puppeting. Many customers boycotted, but others kept with the company, stating that the opinion of the CEO doesn’t necessarily reflect the brand as a whole. Read more HERE.
- Philip Morris International (Marlboro, L&M and other leading cigarette brands)
In December 2014, Philip Morris International announced that it would be reforming their worker policy. This new policy would ban child labor in tobacco fields. An unexpected move by some, this new policy would keep children off of all tobacco farms affiliated with PMI. PMI argued that they wanted to look out for the health and safety of those children, warning of nicotine poisoning and hazardous working conditions. This announcement was mildly controversial for some, claiming that there was a great irony in the ruling. However, most received it as an influential change for the tobacco industry, as the U.S. does not currently outlaw the use of child labor in tobacco fields. Read more HERE