Conservative Group Running Ads Targeting CEOs of ‘Woke’ Corporations

Conservative Group Running Ads Targeting CEOs of 'Woke' Corporations american airlines plane takes off from tarmac (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Cathy Burke | Tuesday, 18 May 2021 02:41 PM

A conservative group is launching a seven-figure ad campaign designed to get "woke" companies to reconsider taking partisan political stands.

In a statement, Consumers' Research said Tuesday its ads will be aimed at American Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Nike "for putting woke politics over consumer interests."

"American Airlines shrunk legroom for passengers and laid off thousands of employees during the COVID pandemic while receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts. Coca-Cola and Nike have both been exploiting foreign, potentially forced, labor in China while American workers suffer. It is time these corporate giants were called to task," Will Hild, the group's executive director, said in the statement.

According to CNBC, the ads will air on CNBC, FOX Business Network, and local stations where the companies are headquartered.

Consumers' Research has not disclosed who is financing the campaign.

The ads "feel very much like political campaign ads," CNBC's Eamon Javers reported.

"They're going to criticize the American Airline CEO … for high pay at a time of layoffs and taxpayer bailouts. They're going to target the Coca-Cola CEO over obesity in America. They're going to criticize the Nike CEO over allegations of forced labor in China," he said.

American Airlines responded to criticism of its stance on a controversial Texas voting bill, telling CNBC: "As a Texas-based business, we just stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote."

Javers reported the new group "is trying to turn the debate around, or at least give some of these CEOs something else to think about in terms of pushback from the right, as opposed to criticism they might get from the left for not acting."

"CEOs very much caught in the middle here," he said.

Hild told the news outlet that the corporations have increasingly "taken positions on legislation that have nothing to do with their business."

"And this is at the same time that the quality of their products and services have gone down. They've taken their eye off the ball," he told CNBC.

Democrats in Congress are backing legislation to counter several states' new voting rules that they argue restricts voters. Republicans counter the legislation, H.R. 1 and S. 1, is a power grab.

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