What Are You Boycotting?

They say we vote with our dollars, so I was interested when someone recently asked online, “What are you boycotting until the day you die?”

The post had over 3 thousand responses, so I quickly tallied through a bunch until I had a good sense of the top ones people mentioned over & over again …

The fact that many of these are the biggest companies in the USA (in some cases, the world), tells you how successful boycotts probably are. Disney, Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Nestle each lead huge industries. It’s likely the more successful you are, the more these boycotts you’ll have to come tend with.

Most of them seem to be ‘enemies’ of the cultural Left compared with the cultural Right. The Left seems to bring out more activism in its base. (I don’t use the terms liberal or conservative anymore in describing our tribal politics as each is grossly hypocritical).

A few other things were noteworthy as I went through the comments:

◦ Jane Fonda still attracts a lot of vitriol. I saw lots of comments about her. She doesn’t really have much current ‘product’ to boycott that I can think of, but people like to say they are boycotting her anyway.

◦ TX/FL & CAL/NYC are the most popular places to boycott. Maybe that affects travel plans, or where you retire to? Disney – which has a big footprint in both FL & CAL is villianized by both sides lately for various reasons.

◦ The ‘My Pillow Guy’ is hated by everyone that hates Trump & Fox News. He’s from my state – Minnesota – but doesn’t get much attention here because we are a overwhelming Blue State. He was right up there with Jane Fonda.

◦ It took reading through about the top 200 responses before someone said “Nike”. I really thought they were more boycotted than that. There also weren’t any comments about the much-maligned oil companies – Exxon, Mobil, Shell, or BP.

◦ The question was posted on Facebook, so maybe it’s not a surprise that no one said Facebook. Or, Facebook censored those responses!

The best answer I read, in my opinion, was posted by my friend JC. He said that for the rest of his life he would boycott … boycotts.

I guess while there is some virtue in backing up your convictions, I prefer to just judge companies on my own interactions with them and their products. After all, companies are as complex and hypocritical as the people that run them. I don’t avoid people based on their politics, so I’m not going to forgo a Nestle Crunch bar either.

The only place I am currently boycotting is the local service shop that left my car out in a hailstorm (and didn’t tell me about it). Otherwise, I keep politics out of my grocery cart and the world spins on anyway.

Who are you boycotting for the rest of your life?

29 thoughts on “What Are You Boycotting?

  1. My wife and I are planning to drop bundled satellite packages when our contract is up to avoid paying for channels we never watch including many that have a political bias we disagree with. The price savings will be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a good savings. You can get out right before the midterm advertising begins! I don’t watch the TV news too much. It’s all editorial, little news. I prefer to read news online.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many channels have a premium subscription, where you pay slighter more to get streaming access without advertisements. The cost difference shows how little your eye ball time is being sold to advertisers for.

        I am also planning to use an off air antenna with a DVR that automatically strips commercials for pre-recorded show.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes – eyeballs are pretty cheap on TV. Much of my MegaCorp career was making TV ads for food brands. We’d pay between $10-$20 per thousand eyeballs. That’s just a penny or two per airing. I’d like to find out about that DVR. I just bought a few antennas for our secondary TVs and they are working good. The x-commercials recording sounds like a good innovation!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess you could call it boycotting but once I have been personally burned by a company or business I tend to not do business with them again, and grudges last for decades.

    I am not a fan of social media boycotting campaigns. One never knows the real reason behind some of this stuff. I can understand if a company is using child labour or something boycotting might be a good way to vote with your dollars to make an impact, but I wonder if some of these campaigns are engineered for other reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All cigarette manufacturers since 1971. All gun manufacturers in my lifetime. I have also removed from my investment portfolios all manufacturers in those industries – that’s a personal decision much harder to achieve, but I have persevered in doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I’m boycotting cigarettes, too – although I don’t think it counts as an option if you’ve never really used them, like me. We’ve talked about guns at length before and I respect your investment approach. Foregoing manufacturer profits – which have been high recently – is certainly a principled position.


    2. Wow, I respect that commitment of putting your dollars in only what you believe in.

      Being an index investor I own low fee whole market indexes like (VTI) and profit from all companies the good and the “bad/unethical”.

      I did look into
      -Socially Responsible Investing Funds (SRI Funds)
      -Environmental, Social and Governance Funds (ESG Funds)
      -Impact Funds
      -Faith-based Funds
      as a way to invest without putting my money into things I don’t support, but the higher fees and lower returns drove me away. I guess my greed and investment strategy of keeping things simple is greater than my ethics….

      I am hoping my charitable giving and personal contributions to make things better balance things out a bit.

      I believe it would be hard to tell what companies are falling in and out of being ethical. It seems like a weekly occurrence that I hear a story from well run company doing something bad. On the other hand there are some stories of big “evil” companies leading the way in some great new technology helping to improve things too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Based on what you saw, roughly how big a % management fee do funds like this typically charge?


      2. The fees ranged depending on the funds. The Faith-based ones seems to be the highest, the one I looked at was 1.33%. There are some SRI funds as low as .20% but that still five times higher than investing in Vanguard’s VTI @ .04%.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow – that’s a lot. Caveat emptor, for sure. I’m big into the low-cost index funds, too.


  4. Here Chief, I am looking at Tablo Quad.


    It looks like the one with HDMI gives you better picture quality on your main tv. You can share to other tv’s in your house. It requires adding an external USB disk drive. The review indicates that you can turn on auto skipping for pre-recorded shows. I still have a year left of my satellite contract, so I plan to start preparing to go 100% cordless or satellite-less during next spring.

    The premium offerings for channels such as Paramount+ are $9.99 per month versus ad supported $4.99 monthly. Some networks, such as HGTV are showing 10 minutes of commercials per half hour and for a difference of $7.99 versus $4.99 seems worth it. The content providers will make more per subscriber, because the cost difference more than makes up for the lost ad revenue. For the consumer they are given a choice to have a better entertainment experience. Most of the channels also provide annual subscriptions for the cost of ten months.

    I forecast my service costs will be in the $30 range versus the current $80 monthly, for better services without commercials and without funding those my wife and I don’t want to fund.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Less than a half a cent! …

      Watch 4 hrs / week
      X 4.3 weeks/month
      = 17.2 hours

      20 minutes ads / hour
      = 40 (30-second ads)/week
      = 688 ads/month

      $3.00 Ad Free Premium / 688 ads
      = $0.004 / ad

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here is another way of calculating the numbers. Avoiding 688 commercials per month saves 5.7 hours monthly. Our time is certainly worth more than $3 / 5.7 = 52 cents per hour.

        I think this also shows how technology is making marketing and sales harder. When I ran a sales territory in the mid 80s, I learned very quickly that bingo cards and incoming phone calls had the highest closure percentage. Bingo cards required someone to rip the card out of trade publication, enter their information and mail it.

        In the early 90s, I ‘discovered’ that if you had the courage to call the CIO or CFO of major New York Banks, and understood your technology and finances, you could sell to them. Then Tony Paranello wrote a book titled “Selling to VITO (Very Important Top Officer)” which resulted in CIOs and CFOs getting dozens of calls per day from aggressive know nothing sales people. I remember once I was visiting with a CIO, and his secretary brought his mail in and he commented about receiving another VITO letter. This and voicemail told me the VITO gig was up.

        Around 2005, I started running mass emailing campaigns that invited prospective clients to topical webinars for the sales territory I managed. There was limited competition and the territory I managed outsold the other five territories in the company combined. But then everyone started doing email and webinar marketing campaigns.

        I think the primary marketing outlet of selling to captive eyeballs watching TV screens is at the end of life. If we were trying to get to where we are today and just starting out, we could not follow the same path. I think the next frontier of marketing is focused on exceeding customers’ expectations to the degree that they become brand messengers on social media. You would have to come up with some way to incentivize happy customers to spread the word.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Like any industry, you have to be clever to stay ahead of the pack!

        Broadcast TV is a funny medium. As the audiences have shrunk, the CPM has gone up. People will pay more for what is still the only mass media with real sight-sound-motion left. Top shows (like NFL) can still pull in tens of millions of viewers. A great place to build instant awareness for a new car, movie premiere, or beer promotion.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it interesting in the US how people identity as a red or blue state, or boycotting due to left activism vs right activism. I wonder if it just comes down to many people feeling “angry”, feeling lost, and going to that most basic of human instincts… to find protection in your “tribe”. And politics there certainly looks tribal to non Americans! I totally get it, if someone identifies as a die-hard fan of a particular sports team, but to boycott say… going to New York because it’s a blue state… does seem insular. As for boycotting Disney or whatever the company, I mean… no one is virtuous. We all have our vices. We live in an imperfect world. Life’s too short to carry a chip on our shoulder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree. I read an article recently that said the current divisions in the USA are more the norm if you look at the country’s entire history. Things have been relatively calm and civil for the last 80 years. Before then, they were as awful as ever with a lot of yellow journalism. Who knows?


  6. My son came home from work today and he was very upset about an ad he saw for Burger King with their celebration for Gay Pride Month.


    Then he showed me Postmate’s Bottom-Friendly advertisement.


    I don’t go to Burger King and have never used PostMates, but after seeing this will continue to do so for the rest of my life. My son is with the program too. What were these marketing people thinking?

    One of your other posters cited that she is boycotting Disney. Disney is creating a real dilemma for me. I own a fairly significant position in Disney that I hold in a taxable brokerage account. My Conservative friends give me a hard time about holding it. But, I hate paying Capital Gains when I can avoid it. If Disney stock keeps going the way it is going, soon worrying about Capital Gains will no longer be a problem.

    Their woke CEO Chapek stopped paying dividends over two years ago and knocked the company off the Dividends King list. The stock is down the most of any Dow Jones stock over the past year. Yet, Chapek paid himself $34 Million last year for his everyone gets a baseball trophy level of performance.

    I bought in when Roy Disney published an Letter to the Editor in the Wall Street Journal calling for Eisner to be fired before he had a chance to pay himself again. I justify my continued holding of the stock to my Conservative friends by telling them that in the past I have voted with activist investors who put an alternate proxy up to unseat a board that is mismanaging a company.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marketers love to stir up controversy. As a marketer myself, most subscribe to the Geo M Cohan saw about “as long as you spell my name right.” If anything, I find the BK ad a bit dumb and awkward, as opposed to divisive or political. Still, I don’t think anyone in the USA has to boycott BK for what their franchisee in Austria decided to do. That wouldn’t be fair to your local California BK franchisees, would it?

      As for Disney, I’d be more concerned with their financial performance than their ‘woke’ statements. Chapek will have a short ride if he doesn’t deliver $$. It looks like investors are concerned that the size of the streaming universe may not be as big as they initially thought. The same woes are weighing down Netflix in a bigger way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The way I measure financial performance is dividend current yield with a healthy dividend growth rate and no dividend cuts. Disney is missing on all three of my three metrics.

        Real performance pays better than promises based on forecasts of future business. Studies of stock market performance over the long term proves this out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hear you the Burger King might have been just a franchisee who is skiing out of bounds in Austria. So don’t boycott someone in LA for something they have no control over. Will be interesting seeing how the corporation responds.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I suppose I boycott any retailer that requires me to drive 30+ minutes to get to their store because they refuse to set up shop in the city. I will buy things from them on-line if it’s easy to do so. I boycott long drives just to spend money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With gas prices what they are, many people are doing that now. I get into Cossetta’s now and then for a few favorite things I can’t find in the suburbs.


  8. oh, I should say that I boycott places where there is too much crime. For example, I don’t shop at Cub Foods in town as the food is good and the crime in the parking lot is practically non-existent at the co-ops. Don’t go to Cub Foods when you in the inner city. Same with gas stations, I drive a little bit out of my way to get gas in a more peaceful part of town, which happens to be across the street from the co-op.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sad it has become that way. Violent crime is still a little bit less than in the 1990s, but we have lost about 30 years of improvements in just the last few years. I’ve read that chronic absenteeism among students is approaching 25% in high schools. Those kids are certainly up to no good on the streets.


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