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Do Boycotts Work?

At least in the short term, the attempted boycott of Chick-fil-A did not have the desired effect, unless that desired effect was record profits.

If the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” really is true, then why would anyone call for a boycott against any organization in an effort to prove a point? If the desired effect in the latest outcry against Chick-fil-A was record profits, then it could be called an unqualified success.

But it is not just in the latest case with Chick-fil-A, there have been boycotts against shock jocks, Fox News, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and even Starbucks just to name a few, and in each case the targets don't appear to be any worse off as a result. Many thought they had managed to silence conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, but according to CNN Entertainment, he too still appears to be doing just fine. Boycotts of advertisers are often the first line of attack, but more often than not people tune in to find out what all the fuss was about -- and that defeats the whole objective.

So this begs the question, are boycotts even worth the effort? With the country split almost right down the middle on politics and policy, a political boycott stands as good a chance of backfiring as it does of working.

So do you think calling for a boycott to prove a point is worth the effort? Or is it just as likely to draw attention to a person, organization or product as it is to cause any damage?

Athens Mama August 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Beth Elam, I think you might want to check your facts, or maybe we are just viewing the events differently: But Dan Cathy, president of the popular fast food chain Chick-fil-A, has done just that, saying on a radio show that “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.” Following backlash after those remarks, Cathy then told the Baptist Press in an article posted July 16 that he is “guilty as charged” and is very “supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-leadership/post/chick-fil-a-president-dan-cathy-bites-into-gay-marriage-debate/2012/07/19/gJQACrvzvW_blog.html The Chick-fil-A debate came into question because one of the comments stated that my bringing up the Montgomery bus boycott was a "bad analogy." Last time I checked, in both situations, a minority was being denied equality.
Grant August 10, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Jeff , Surely you are aware the CFA boycott isnt "over" right? Suggesting the thing has failed in the course of a week or two is pretty ridiculous . Suggesting it "backfired" because a bunch of folks stood in line to show solidarity in hatred (AKA God Hates(*%$*) is rather ridiculous as well . I havent eaten at CFA for years because I was aware of Cathy's funding of hatred some years ago, now he's managed to reach a larger audience who may also choose to go elsewhere for their chicken sandwiches, not just for this week , or this month but "forever" I think you have confused "the end" with " the beginning" . FWIW it probably wont have any major effect on the bottom line of Chick Fil Hate but at least those of us that care about such things can take some small amount of comfort in knowing we arent contributing to The American Family Association , whose staunch Christian mouthpiece advocated kidnapping children in the name of Jesus a couple days ago , so there is some small comfort in that for me at least . Amen
Grant August 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Athens Mama scores a BINGO... Well done
Jimmy August 10, 2012 at 07:07 PM
It was a bad analogy. The Montgomery bus boycott was about equality, thats why the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation on the buses was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The CFA boycott was an attempt to punish a businessman for expressing his personal religious views which some deemed un-PC. It completely ignored the fact that most of the restaurants are actually owned by franchisees, not Dan Cathy, not to mention that there were no allegations that CFA had discriminated against anybody in their hiring, employment or franchising practices, nor had they denied or restricted service to anybody.
LW August 10, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Grant, are you in charde of handing out the BINGOs here?
Jeffrey Allen August 10, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Grant, I inserted no agenda into my commentary, as you and many on either side have/will continue to do. But, clearly, this has not affected the bottom line, except to inflate last week's sales to record proportions, and judging by the wrap-around lines at both the locations I passed today, they clearly continue to enjoy economic success. How you feel about that, and the fact that you and others choose to not spend money there is noted, even respected. Your opinion that everyone who stood in those line must HATE GAY PEOPLE!!!! is also noted, even though I disagree. Most of those people just see things different than you do is all.
Jimmy August 10, 2012 at 07:11 PM
But if it makes you feel better, dont eat there. Some people wont buy Citgo gas because its the state owned oil company of Venezuela and they dont like Hugo Chavez. At one time some wouldnt buy Proctor and Gamble products because they thought there was a '666' hidden in their logo. Others dont buy stuff from Walmart because they sell stuff from China, or they dont pay a 'living wage'. Whatever. All of those companies seem to be doing quite well in spite of the boycotts.
Grant August 10, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Jimmy.. Not this nonsense again ! Interesting that you would begin to tell us all what the CFA boycott was about but , apparently you havent got a cue what it was about. Lemme guess, you were one of those geniuses smugly standing in line in the sun marveling at how clever you and your pals were while waiting 90 minutes for a fast food sandwich werent you? Let me help ya out here chum . It had nothing to do with "political correctness" or "punishing a man for his beliefs", it had everything do to with the simple fact that Cathy donantes larges sums of money to groups whose stated purpose is to have those beliefs forced upon others... You are correct that there is no allegations that CFA did anything illegal and I've yet to hear anyone make that claim. What they did, and continue to do is fund hate groups intent on manipulating government to force us all to abide by Cathy's personal beliefs.. Hope that helps you understand chum, have a nice day
Cindy Pitts Gilbert August 10, 2012 at 07:30 PM
This boycott was definitely a FAIL. It did however open the lines of communication on both sides. This debate has really got a lot of people talking and in most cases thinking. I believe boycotting is a form of bullying. Why is anyone surprised that a business that clearly has Christian ideals, as they are closed on Sunday so their employees can go to church has an opinion that believes gay marriage is wrong. If you truly research your bible and the history of marriage, Marriage itself has only become a Christian belief in the recent history give or take it was more of a political merging of properties. Jesus encouraged no marriage for anyone. Do I agree with Dan Cathy thinking the way he does No. I don't believe we have a right to judge each other. Do I believe he had every right to speak up about his belief's Yes I do. Do I think those in support of Gay Marriage should try to hurt the CFA business or it's employees to force him to keep quiet about his beliefs or make the next person think about being silent . NO I don't. Pushing your views on anyone gay or straight isn't going to change anything for very long.
Grant August 10, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Why yes I am LW.... Granted it's a self appointed position but I feel as though I do a marvelous job . Thanks
Jimmy August 10, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Actually, chum, I went early for breakfast before the lines got long and got a big bag full of biscuits to bring to work which everybody enjoyed. And paid me back for! But keep trying chum, the harder you argue, the more you make my point. You dont like that Cathy donates money to those groups, so you boycotted to deprive him of the money to do so. If thats not it, then what they heck was the purpose? And if thats not punitive, what is it? Huh, chum?
LW August 10, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Why not get people to boycott Toby Sexton Tire? Toby Sexton pays Grant all day long every day to spread hate. I say boycott Toby Sexton.
Grant August 10, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Jimmy , My refusal to eat at CFA isnt "punitive" as I'm sure they will do fine regardless of my choice never to set foot in there again. I simply refuse to give my money to a guy who will spend a portion of it aiding organizations bent on denial of freedom and discrimination . Cathy can spend his money as he chooses , as can I . I choose not to assist him in funding a movement that seeks to do harm to people .
Grant August 11, 2012 at 12:39 AM
LW, I make my living selling designing & selling ground use aircraft tire assemblies, If you are in that market I hope you'll reconsider. I suppose introductions are necessary. My name is Grant Mackay , and you are? My opinion is mine alone. it doesnt represent my employer any more than yours does your employer. Further I challenge you to link to and quote anything I have posted that could be construed as "hatred" Unlike some , I'm better than that . You do raise an interesting point, as noted I do not represent my employer's opinion, while Mr Cathy indeed stated not just his personal opinion but the stance of his corporation. I know it might be a stretch to expect reasonable discussion here but I'd like to think you can understand the difference? Jeff , if it's OK with you I'd prefer to state my own opinion as opposed to having you attempt to state it for me.As`I understand it the "rally" at Chick Fil A was in support of their stated position and substantial investment in the prevention of gay marriage....right? Thats the basis of this issue? So lets discuss it, since we arent yet a theocracy those of you against gay marriage please state your non religious reasons that you believe should give the government the power to inspect the genitals of people in a committed relationship? Please explain to me how giving the government the rights to interfere in the most personal issues of private citizens is some how supportive of the ideal of small government ?
Jimmy August 11, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Grant, I respect and defend your right to spend your money where and how you wish, and appreciate your tacit admission that Mr. Cathy has the same right. I suspect that many (not all, but many) of the people who ate at CFA last Wednesday did so for that reason, not neccesarily to make a point in opposition to gay marriage.
Grant August 11, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Further I find it interesting that so many of you are still either "outraged" that some people have chosen to speak out about Cathy's investments against a group of people or are just so proud to "support " those views. Meanwhile the vocal leader of one of America's largest and most influential "Christian" groups has publically advocated the kidnapping of people's children in the name of the religion so many of you profess to follow. I KNOW most people dont support kidnapping , just find it surprising that so many would allow themselves to be associated with those that favor it..
Jeffrey Allen August 11, 2012 at 02:12 AM
The "rally" was nothing more than alot of people ordering themselves lunch.
Athens Mama August 11, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Grant ~ how is it that after those posts on which we were polar opposites, in a complete state of dichotomy, that we are now "virtually" holding hands? Somewhere, Bob Dylan is singing in the background...."How does it feel....." In the last several articles, I have come to forever appreciate your raw opinion. Sis boom bah for Grant.
M.A.Dawson August 11, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I also agree that Toby Sexton Tires should be boycotted. If Toby pays Grant Mackay to spend his days on line slandering Jesus Christ and Christians who live wholesome lives, then why would any business or individual spend money with his business? Not very good business sense if you ask me. Shame on Toby Sexton Tire Company. Pass the word along.
Grant August 11, 2012 at 03:29 AM
M.A Davidson.... The company I work for pays me to sell aircraft tire assemblies, which I do. Interesting that my personal opinion that has nothing to do with my employer is important yet the public opinion of the president of a corporation is " his private business" . I was told that many at the "rally" were there in support of the rights to free speech? I challenge you to back up your statements and quote me "slandering Jesus Christ"...and when you fail to find anything of the sort (as I've never done anything of the sort) I'll look forward to your apology. Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage, R'Amen Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Grant August 11, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Athens Mama... I'm of the opinion that intelligent people can indulge in discussion , even disagreement, without personal attacks or nastiness. I find it shameful that others cant manage to display simple respect of their fellow man. I'm sure we will disagree again, and I'm OK with that as I assume you are...
Grant August 11, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Jeff, I'm well aware that Fischer's views arent yours, unfortunately he represents himself under the same title as you do and those less enlightened than I might be unable to make the distinction..... One would think the more reasonable amongst your fellows would take a stance against this guy, yet I'm seeing quiet acquiescence..... I'd like to think there would be universal outrage as opposed to quiet acceptance.
Grant August 11, 2012 at 04:06 AM
and , not to be sidetracked.... Anyone care to make a comment on the "issue at hand" One more time "Simple question, do you think the government should deny homosexual couples the right to marry? If so, how does that align with the Conservative principle of "less intrusive government" Degree of difficulty, The First Amendment
Racer X August 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Jeffery- Very well said.
Racer X August 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Grant- You said, " Surely you are aware the CFA boycott isnt "over" right? Suggesting the thing has failed in the course of a week or two is pretty ridiculous ." Then you said, "My refusal to eat at CFA isnt 'punitive' as I'm sure they will do fine regardless of my choice never to set foot in there again." In the first quote you refute Jimmy's saying the CFA boycott did not work. In the next quote you agree with him that it will not work. Which is it?
Racer X August 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Cool, you got a BINGO from a ZERO. Way to go :-)
Racer X August 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Grant- In an earlier post you called one of Jimmy's assertions "ridiculous". I call that a personal attack. Your posts are full of them.
Racer X August 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Grant- "May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage, R'Amen"? What is that? Are you 12 years old? Toby Sexton tire is out for me.
Jeffrey Allen August 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Whoa there, kemosabe's... A man is entitled to his opinion...even an off-pissing opinion such as Grant here. I don't like alot of what he says, even less how he says it. But I see irony in attacking the man's place of business, in defense of people attacking a place of business over a political statement. Doing so in a "I know who you are, you don't know who I am" kind of way is a pretty cheap shot. My "chicken sandwich" boycott comment was intended as a joke, not a pile-on. Since self-removed, (even though sandwiches from there would probably taste all...rubbery) Not intended to be offensive but if it slipped below the belt...I apologize Perhaps there's a lesson here, and it's that people do not like to be attacked. It's more fun to be on the offensive, less so to be on the defensive. Why don't we ALL try to keep this above the belt. People are much less likely to counter-attack when they themselves do not feel like they are being attacked for their opinions.
Athens Mama August 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM
All we are saying.......is give peace a chance.....

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