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article imageCorporate America begins cutting ties with NRA as boycott grows

By Karen Graham     Feb 23, 2018 in Business
The one place any organization or business can be hurt is in its bottom line, and corporate America is listening to social media's call for a boycott of the NRA after the media and Democrats were attacked by NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.
LaPierre lashed out on Thursday in his first public comments since the Parkland shooting that left 17 dead on February 14.
"The shameful politicization of the tragedy, it's a classic strategy right out of the playbook of a poisonous movement," he told an annual conservative conference, hitting out in turn at supposed "socialists" on the political left, and at the "so-called national news media."
The NRA's executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre made his first public comments on the...
The NRA's executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre made his first public comments on the tragedy in Parkland, Florida in an address to the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland
Many people, besides NRA members, were listening to the bombastic rhetoric of the NRA's leaders on Thursday. That became very clear when on Friday morning, a call to boycott the National Rifle Association became the top trend on Twitter, with global users of the social media platform demanded that a variety of companies sever ties with the lobbying group.
Believe it or not, but businesses are listening to their customers, and today proves this to be true. A number of big corporations, from a major insurer to three car rental brands, have severed their relationships with the NRA, reports Reuters.
Additionally, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, formed after the December 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting that killed 20 first-graders, sent letters to Apple Inc, AT&T Inc, Amazon, Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) division and Roku Inc, asking them to drop NRA TV from their products.
A woman displays a photo of the children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting during a September 2013 p...
A woman displays a photo of the children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting during a September 2013 press conference in Washington calling for gun reform legislation
“We have been just disgusted by NRATV since its beginning,” Shannon Watts, the group’s founder, said in a phone interview. “It really propagates dangerous misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric. It tries to pit Americans against one another, all in an attempt to further their agenda of selling guns.”
MetLife said it would stop providing discounts to NRA members for auto and home insurance. "We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA," the company told USA TODAY in a statement.
Cybersecurity firm Symantec also said it has "stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association." SimpiSafe, a home security services company, has also joined in the boycott. "We have discontinued our existing relationship with the NRA," CEO Chad Laurans said in a statement.
First National Bank of Omaha announced on Thursday it would end a Visa credit card that it offered with NRA branding after fielding a deluge of customer complaints. According to an NRA blog, the Visa card offered 5 percent back on gas and sporting goods purchases.
And Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of car rental brands Enterprise, Alamo and National, announced on Twitter that it's ending discount deals with the NRA'.
"Banks and other companies are sensitive to being on the wrong side of a social media campaign, which can spread pretty quickly these days," said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor who has taught classes on marketing. "They don’t want to risk having people march or boycott."
The five-million member NRA has partnerships with dozens of companies, but some observers think the movement won't go too far because most people don't change their behavior based on political issues. But, apparently, someone out there is taking this issue to heart, and demanding the companies and businesses they support do the right thing and take a stand against the NRA.
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