Yesterday AdWeek posted a link to an NBC News Story about a new Donald Trump TV channel that is reportedly just three months from launching. AdWeek asked in their Facebook post, “would you advertise on Trump TV or recommend it to your clients?”.
I’ve made no secret of my feelings for Trump and how his flagrant disrespect for Americans humans and utter disregard for the values that make our country great, terrifies me. And for those of us who have not completely lost our minds to a decades-old propagandized, white-washed, nationalist agenda expanded and legitimized through conspiracy-laden fearmongering, the Adweek post begged the question; how far are you willing to take your personal beliefs when it comes to business?
Personally, I believe that in a capitalist society, our dollar vote is as important as our electoral vote. In a country that’s obviously controlled by big business, choosing where NOT to spend our money can be our strongest protest mechanism. And in a free market, it can (and often does) impact corporate behavior.
For example, take the Nestle boycott in 2010, organized by Greenpeace. “Nestlé gave in to pressure from Greenpeace and promised a zero-deforestation policy in its palm oil supply chain. After just 8 weeks of intense campaigning and meetings with the company Nestle came come up with what Greenpeace described as a “comprehensive policy” that will be monitored by the Forest Trust.
Nearly 1.5m saw Greenpeace’s spoof Kit Kat advert, over 200,000 emails were sent and activists demonstrated at Nestlé HQs worldwide. Greenpeace said “We didn’t expect Nestlé to come up with this policy so quickly.” (Source: EthicalConsumer.org)
Yes, when consumers organize and vote with their dollar, we can make a difference.
That brings me back to Adweek’s question: would I recommend that a client advertise on Trump TV, when I feel that by doing so, it supports and condones an agenda that I personally despise? And my answer is: if their company can reach their target market on Trump TV, if the investment makes sense and if they have no moral or personal issues with it themselves, then yes, I, as a Marketing Consultant, would in good faith and consciousness have to present Trump TV as an option. In a free market democracy, it is the right thing to do. No matter how much I disagree with supporting Trump’s behavior, it’s not up to me to dictate how a client conducts his or her business. It’s their choice. And the freedom to choose is what makes America great (and ironically what Trump wants to take away from us).
I, on the other hand wouldn’t advertise on Trump TV if my business depended on it. I personally cannot support (and thereby condone and tolerate) hate, bigotry, misogyny, ignorance and the kind of lowest-common-denominator politics Trump personifies.
How about you? How would you answer Adweek’s question? Would you advertise on Trump TV or recommend it to a client? I’m curious about how far you would be willing to go for your beliefs and opinions…