The Consumer Response to Corporate Political Advocacy: a Review and Future Directions
28 Pages Posted: 6 May 2022
Date Written: September 13, 2019
In recent years, a new trend has emerged: Chick-fil-a and Amazon took opposing positions in the gay marriage debate, companies have openly opposed many of President Trump’s policies and even dropped his daughter’s brand from their stores, Paypal gave an ultimatum to North Carolina over transgender bathroom access, Delta dropped NRA specific benefits, and Nike signed the polarizing Colin Kaepernick. These actions, which significantly deviate from corporations’ historical forays into sociopolitical issues through lobbying for favorable regulations and corporate social responsibility (CSR), are characterized by participation in divisive political debates on topics with seemingly have no direct link to the bottom line. The public and divisive nature of these corporate acts (referred to as Corporate Political Advocacy; CPA), coupled with an increasingly politically polarized population, suggests that implied political values on behalf of companies are likely to produce divergent consumer reactions. Specifically, these acts are likely to simultaneously elicit disapproval and boycotts from those that oppose the company’s position, but approval and buycotts from those that support the company’s position. In this paper we consider findings from existing literature in consumerism, CSR, and political orientation to shed light on our current understanding of the potential consumer response to CPA and to point to several avenues for future research.
Keywords: corporate political advocacy (CPA), political orientation, boycott, boycott, corporate social responsibility (CSR), consumerism, socially responsible consumption, identity
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation