A new warning to woke CEOs: Americans don’t want corporations meddling in divisive political issues, and they perceive such activism as phony pandering. There’s also a huge gap between what consumers believe about woke activism compared with out-of-touch executives, according to a study conducted by the Brunswick Group, a management firm.
Amazon yanks a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. EBay scraps Dr. Seuss books. Disney fires actress Gina Carano. Do consumers agree with these moves?
Brunswick found 63 percent of corporate executives “agree unequivocally that companies should speak out on social issues,” but a mere 36 percent of voters agree. Corporate brass also has “a highly inflated sense of how effective corporate communication has been on social issues compared to voters.”
An overwhelming 74 percent of business executives think corporate activism is effective, compared with just 39 percent of voters. Companies spend billions of dollars building brand equity through marketing campaigns. Turns out their virtue-signaling could be counterproductive because voters believe it’s inauthentic.