Do politically-motivated boycotts work? - WSMV News 4

Do politically-motivated boycotts work?

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What does it take for a protest or boycott to take hold? (WSMV) What does it take for a protest or boycott to take hold? (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Some people use their voices to protest the government. Other say money talks and can get the point across sooner and more effectively.

“The only way I know these people can hear our voices is to show up,” one protester told Channel 4.

A social media campaign to delete the Uber app seemed to have worked. The #DeleteUber hashtag surfaced after the ride-sharing company failed to denounce President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Thousands of people have since deleted their account.

“Some boycotts will take off because an image or hashtag will incite a lot of people. Others will fall flat,” said Lipscomb marketing professor Andy Borchers.

Uber started to bounce back after CEO Travis Kalanick announced he would reimburse immigrant drivers traveling overseas to visit family who can't get back to the U.S. after the ban.

Social media has fueled the fire. There is an app called Boycott Trump, which lists just shy of 300 companies with ties to the president.

But some ask if it’s all too much?

“There is a certain fatigue that sets in after so many boycotts. You can lose steam and then it may go into a period of dormancy and then, for all you know, a new issue will come up, some clever hashtag or video that will portray a company in a bad light and then it will take off again,” Borchers said.

Boycotts can also have a counter-effect.

Some consumers ditched Chick-fil-A because of its stance on gay marriage. But supporters started spending more money at the fast food chain, resulting in an increase in business.

“It’s an interesting twist of what is going on in our political time. I think it is a challenge for companies to figure out how do they fit into the social fabric? A lot of companies do not want to be noteworthy in this way, but in some cases it’s difficult,” Borchers said.

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