Can Boycotts Be Good For Advertising?

Today in Seattle, Starbucks received a giant thank-you card for its support of same-sex marriage. Despite an attempted boycott by the National Organization for Marriage, Starbucks got a look at who its true fans were.

So do boycotts work? How can advertisers and agencies respond to boycotts?

Consumers aren’t always consistent in what brands they boycott, or how vigorously they boycott those brands. Like a lot of people from the South, I grew up on Chick-fil-A. My body composition is 3% Waffle Fries. But I’m also not a supporter of the causes they contribute to. Still, it’s disheartening for me to see the opposition and boycotts of their stores based on their support for some organizations. Because I’m a fan. Call it hypocrisy or selectivity, consumers might give some brands a pass for something where other brands get targeted. And marketers can’t control when those occur.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.

And don’t forget, you can still buy my book of columns (in Kindle form) for just 99 cents.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.