They’re not bad either, right down to the unusual decision to identify the CEO of each company targeted. Watch, then read on.
The people responsible are Consumers’ Research and some unknown donor or donors. CR won’t say, making this a case of “dark money” in politics. All three ads are effective in a basic “we’ll make trouble for you if you make trouble for Republicans” way but the Nike spot stands above the other two for the simple reason that the hypocrisy is starker. You can be progressive in your politics, particularly the politics of voting laws, but bad/unethical at business. But you can’t be sincerely progressive if you’re complicit in the ChiCom persecution of the Uighurs. Maybe Coke and American Airlines are using woke politics to distract from unflattering business developments but there’s no question that Nike’s using ostentatious wokeness at home to buy it some political cover in transacting with monsters abroad.
As for why they made a point of identifying the CEOs, I’m curious. In addition to running on local channels in cities where the companies are based, the ads will run on CNBC and Fox Business — two networks watched mostly by investors. Maybe CR wanted to make a point of embarrassing these guys personally among the class of people whose opinions they’d care most about, and who’d be most likely to bring pressure on their respective corporate boards to look for new leadership.
Either way, it’s interesting that this isn’t first and foremost a campaign to rally consumers against the companies. (Especially coming from a group called Consumers’ Research.) Could be CR calculated that that would be unlikely to work, which is probably correct. Public boycotts require organization and commitment, something a 30-second ad that runs for a week just can’t provide. And the hard truth is that Americans don’t care enough about China’s gross human rights abuses to give up cheap Chinese goods. As a result, the pressure group with the most leverage over woke corporations is probably their own employees, particularly the better educated ones in the management class. As college grads continue to shift from the GOP to Democrats, companies are more prone to be nudged by their own executives to stand up for progressive policies. CR is offering a small counterweight to that here by trying to turn public opinion (or at least investor opinion) the other way.