We’ve seen a similar situation in the UK recently, where Stop Funding Hate has successfully campaigned
against companies advertising in fiercely right-wing newspapers. Virgin Trains even stopped selling the Daily Mail, before changing its mind
. That could have been a typically cheeky Richard Branson publicity stunt, but it shows how brands find it hard to stay neutral in the highly polarised world we find ourselves in today.
When I discussed this on Twitter yesterday, futurist Tom Cheesewright suggested
the shift to campaigning against brands was was due to “the feeling that corporate/media power has surpassed political power, so political campaigns have more corporate targets.”
that the rise of social media has made people feel like they can have an impact on the world in a more direct way than was previously possible, and the stakes seem higher than ever.
Technologist Tony Churnside noted
: “We can also blame social media a bit, with ‘brands’ wanting to connect with customers, have them care about them. With the resulting personification of 'brands’ comes ideological beliefs and political leanings.”
So maybe it’s partly brands’ faults that we’re treating them like people, and expect them to have political persuasions. I just don’t see how we walk back from where we are. It’s surely only a matter of time before brands become even more political… although they probably won’t demand the vote, even if some argue
that corporations 'are people.’