Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on February 14 that left 17 people dead, businesses are using their influence to drive change. Over the past several weeks, an onslaught of corporations ranging from Delta to Symantec and Enterprise have announced that they will be cutting ties with gun advocacy group National Rifle Association (NRA).
One of the benefits of NRA membership is access to discounts on insurance, car rentals, travel etc. To distance themselves from the NRA, many companies offering these discounts are severing ties. The growing list of companies includes The First National Bank of Omaha, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo, National Car Rental, Symantec, Hertz, MetLife, SimpliSafe, Avis, Budget Rent a Car, Allied, North American, TrueCar, Delta, United Airlines, Paramount RX and Starkey.
The departure of these brands has largely been attributed to mounting pressure from consumers and activists to cut ties. The hashtags #BoycottNRA and #NRAbloodmoney have also begun trending on Twitter, shedding light on the companies affiliated with the organization and urging businesses to enact change.
ThinkProgress, a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization founded by the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action), also published a list of corporations offering incentives to NRA members early last week. It asked companies on the list if they would continue their relationships with the NRA. Since its publication, the majority of those companies have parted ways with the organization. Companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google are currently under pressure to drop the NRA’s streaming channel, NRAtv.
Corporate Political Responsibility in an Environment of Distrust
As US politics become increasingly polarized, brands are left wondering whether and how to engage. How can they simultaneously challenge the status quo, align their influences with brand values and commitments, and avoid the risks of retribution? Join us for an interactive workshop to explore putting the Erb Principles for Corporate Political Responsibility into practice, review new research from Porter Novelli on stakeholder perceptions, and hear how practitioners are using non-partisan principles to connect in this challenging environment — Monday, Oct. 16 at SB'23 San Diego.
— Hertz (@Hertz) February 23, 2018
The statement added: “In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve.”
However, in an era where purpose-beyond-profit is all, sticking to one’s convictions — even if unpopular with some — is the key to long-term success. Failing to acknowledge the current shifts taking place in the economic landscape and society as a whole, however, is likely to have disastrous consequences.