Skip to comments.Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies
Posted on 07/27/2012 4:25:08 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long stood by its Bible-based roots, keeping stores closed on Sundays and donating millions to Christian causes. But when its president, Dan Cathy, went public to defend his company's stance against gay marriage, he set off a considerable controversy that has everyone from politicians to puppets weighing in.
First telling the Baptist Press his company supported the "biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy then told the radio program The Ken Coleman Show, "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about."
The backlash spread swiftly. Boston's mayor pledged to block the chicken sandwich stores from opening in Beantown, a Chicago alderman said he'll try to stop a franchise from opening in his ward and the Jim Henson Co. cutoff its Chick-fil-A collaboration. Because it's a private company, it will be difficult to measure the bottom-line impact of all the attention.
Social Media Spread
Americus Reed, a marketing professor at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who studies brand loyalty, says Cathy underestimated what might happen once his comments to a niche religious publication and a syndicated radio show spread to a wider audience.
"I think this is part of the wake-up call for companies to understand that social media makes these decisions very, very risky," Reed said, "because it's much easier now for these messages to get out to consumers and consumers to virtually organize."
Support For Gay Rights
But other companies see the risks of going public on controversial issues differently. This year, a handful of big brands have made headlines for taking the opposite side supporting same-sex rights and benefits.
"From time to time we are going to make a decision that we think is consistent with the heritage and the tradition of the company that perhaps may be inconsistent with one group's view of the world," Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, said at a shareholder meeting in March.
He explained the coffee giant's pro-gay positions were about making its employees proud and aligning with its corporate values.
"Since we made that decision there has not been any dilution whatsoever in our business, and as you can see, shareholder value has increased significantly," Schultz said, citing revenue growth in the face of efforts like DumpStarbucks.com, led by pro-family organizations.
The lure of dollars from a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market is another likely motivator for taking certain social stands. Marketing firm Witeck-Combs estimated the LGBT market's buying power at $800 billion last year.
"I think it's a sign of the times to try and speak to other groups that potentially one has not had a connection with, and that's just part and parcel with trying to grow your market," Reed said.
But beyond the big bucks, corporate reputation specialist Sekou Bermiss says companies may be motivated to contribute to community good.
"More and more, you see firms that are trying to or feel obliged to certain issues in society, [to] do some greater good in society," Bermiss said.
Boycotts And Bottom Lines
Starbucks, Target and General Mills all stepped into the same-sex marriage issue by supporting gay marriage legislation in their home states. Each face ongoing boycotts led by the American Family Association and the National Organization for Marriage for doing so. The National Organization for Marriage said it's uncertain whether its boycotts are having an impact on businesses.
And after JC Penney hired Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson, the socially conservative group One Million Moms called for her firing.
"They wanted to get me fired and I'm proud and happy to say that JC Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson," DeGeneres said on her show. The retailer also started running Mother's Day and Father's Day ads featuring same-sex couples.
But Reed says companies that make a social argument for business gain should be prepared to change course if an outcry leads to longer term losses.
"Most brands are keeping their heads down because these are very controversial sorts of strategies. And it probably makes sense good business sense to not weigh in on these issues," Reed said.
That's a lesson Chick-fil-A seems to be learning quickly.
It declined requests for an interview, but in a statement said, "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate to the political arena
You know, I WOULD love to see what happens if npr doesn’t receive public funding.
To think, he’s taking heat for standing up for traditional marriage WITHOUT condemning anything.
Black is white, up is down, etc.
Chick-Fil-A sales are way up, and J.C. Penney common stock has TANKED.
This idiot prof is right by being wrong.
Chick-Fil-A is going to prosper like never before.
My family stopped shopping at JCP after they went gay. There’s other places we can go that don’t put deviants in their advertising.
I have added them to my weekly lunch rotatation, beginning today. I am but one meal a week, but I suspect I am not alone.
Unless they lose business licences, leases, etc. They could be forced out of business.
Add Amazon to the fray. It will be interesting to see how this works out.
I rarely frequent fast food joints, but I am going to make an effort to eat more chicken from now on. They just got four new customers from my immediate family.
“It declined requests for an interview, but in a statement said, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate to the political arena.”
Because we’re raking in tons of cash and serving so many people this week, we don’t have time to talk to the press.
I am hitting the local one tomorrow for lunch, I am sure I will not be alone
I have now - as of yesterday two within 5 miles & I never eaten at them. Starting this week they will see me - that's for sure.
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Why is it OK for companies to state support for a political position but not against it (rhetorical question, I know the answer)? I barely remember a peep when Starbucks supported gay marriage, didn’t even know about Target and General Mills. Oh well - thanks for the article, need to start my list from this of those places I won’t shop at anymore - Starbuck’s coffee pretty much sucks and is too expensive anyway.
I bet they scare away ALL of their customers and force them to shut their doors.
Won't they be PROUD?
“That’s a lesson Chick-fil-A seems to be learning quickly.”
That’s some darn crazy spin as Chick-Fil-A is laughing all the way to the bank. I can’t wait to get my beach towel from them. I wish they could ship their chicken.
Defunding NPR and PBS should be one of the first things on the agenda in the next congress ... Along with defunding ObamaCare, Education, DHS, TSA, HHS, Commerce, Ag, Energy, EPA, HUD and every board and commission that has an ethnic name in it. (btw, that is just the short list off the top of my head.)
National (Anti-American) “Propaganda” Radio
As I understand it, gays make up only 2 or 3 percent of the population.
Having that as a guide, I would much rather sell my product for a dollar to the 98 percent and have their ongoing business, than to make $300 per sale from the 2 percent by selling my morals and credibility down the sewer.
Evidently the managers of stores like Penny’s and Starbutts had this guy for their college professor.
JC Penny’s has seen the last of my money, and Starbutts coffee is awful, so I won’t miss them, heck, I won’t even go to their “going out of business” sale.
I bet they scare away ALL of their customers and force them to shut their doors.
Won't they be PROUD? ]
POST OF THE DAY!
The lure of dollars from a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market is another likely motivator for taking certain social stands. Marketing firm Witeck-Combs estimated the LGBT market’s buying power at $800 billion last year.
If this is all about getting the LGBT to buy their products then perhaps they should take a look at the rest of their customer base who will be turned off over the LGBT pandering. Will the increased dollars from them match the dollars they will lose otherwise?
Maybe they need to look at JC Penney or Chick-fil-A for an answer to that.
Likely that could be addressed by tort.
The city of Half Moon Bay CA, screwed a developer at the behest of local environazis. He sued and won. He effectively owns the entire city now, they can't pay and have closed most departments and fired nearly all employees.
Dinner at CfA beats pledging to NPR.
Abilene is a conservative town, but I had to wait a half hour at the Chick Fillet at the mall today. It was busier than I have ever seen it. I believe someone on Facebook called for everyone to support them. and they sure did.
The local Chick-Fil-A is kinda out of my way normally. I’ll be off work next week and plan to eat there often. I’ve always liked their food and will support them with my patronage as often as possible.
Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced Friday they are donating $2.5 million to the campaign to defend Washingtons same-sex marriage law.
In November Washington State voters will vote on Referendum 74 to reject a law that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. Bezos is kicking in dollars that could be used to improve the economy so that he can steer Washington State voters to keep same-sex marriage legal.
Same-sex marriage is a Trojan Horse for something more even more insidious: The elimination of the principle of Natural Law. Natural Law is tied intimately with the idea of traditional marriage—one-man-one woman. Natural Law is also tied to our Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Natural Law is a principle that the Left hates because it is the basis of our freedom: God ordained freedom and the natural order of marriage are both inalienable.
It is time to work for a new Constitutional Amendment: Marriage is a protected union between one-man and one-woman. We need to protect America from the savages who want to take away our freedom and tear down our institutions.
Dan Vathy is under fire for taking the same position about homosexual “marriage” that Obama publically took until he changed his mind.
Obama was agin it before he was for it.
(even though we all knew he was a flaming faggot)
Penneys paid good money to advertise to the sodomites.
Chick-fil-A didnt pay a dime and are just on the peak of the wave right now.
Some folks are stupid.
Something you won’t hear mentioned about Chick-Fil-a during this media bashing. A few years back when there was a mad cow scare in the USA, Mr Cathy pulled the company’s “Eat more Chickin” cow commercials to not take advantage of the beef scare. He is a man of principle
By all appearances, the “wake up call” to Chick-fil-A is that “supporting traditional values makes your sales skyrocket”.
At 2:30 today, my local CFA was full of customers, and they said that they have been crowded for days now. And it is still five days before the “buy-cott” there.
I truly think that the public has been pushed too far with the nasty liberal cultural agendas, and they are fed up. Buying chicken sandwiches is just the first indicator of people telling liberals to crawl back into their hole, and take their stupid ideas with them.
NPR has 0.0001% credibility with me or my family any more.
Excuse me NPR punks and punkettes, but I am unaware of any corporate policy at Chick-Fil-A regarding same sex marriage or any other gay rights agenda item. Mr. Cathy certainly has a personal opinion on the matter— but unless you can show me that Chick-Fil-A actually has a corporate position on the matter, maybe you should just stick to facts rather than shrill anti-Christian bigotry...
Argument No. 1:
Marriage usually results in parents.
Parents always have issue, offspring i.e., children., by definition.
2 Gays cannot have issue ever and not usually ever.
Ergo gays cannot fit definition of parents.
Ergo gays cannot fit the definition and actual reality of marriage.
Ergo- gay marriage is a fallacy and an oxymoron.
Argument No. 2:
Parents always have issue.
Sometimes the issue turns out to be gay.
Gays always issue from straight parents.
Gays cannot be issued from “gay marriages”.
Straights cannot be issued from “gay marriages”.
Ergo gays are dependent upon straight marriages` parents for their issue into the world.
Ergo married parents in such a “straight” marriage union is superior
to so-called “gay marriage”.
Therefore, there is no such thing as “straight marriage”, because “straight marriage” fulfills the defintion of “marriage” completely.
Ergo both are are unequal and
Therefore “gay marriage” and marriage are not the same.
The inferior “gay marriage” aspires to be the equal of traditional marrriage but is unequal as in above— Therefore
“gay marriage” is a contradiction in terms.
Ergo, “gay marriage” is based on false assumptions.
Ergo, “gay marriage” is a falsehood in name and in fact.
Thus there is no such thing as “straight marriage” because it fulfills the entire definition of a marriage.
Argument No 3:
“Gay marriage” aspiring to be a part of the marriage defintion, cannot be that, because the part does not equal the whole.
Therefore “gay marriage” is also violating the unchanging principle of mathemathics wherein the Part does not equal the Whole.
Thus “gay marriage” is a complete falsehood.
Yeah, I've seen those headlines as well already. Oh, well I'll be looking for some other online business to deal with from now on. I have spent a lot of money with Amazon up until now. I've already deleted their bookmark from my browser. Not another penny will be spent with a company that sides with moral decadence and corruption. Hey, it's my money and I'll spend it where I want and I wish not to spend with a company who jumps into bed with the looney queers and fags.
Because of all the pro-homo laws being passed/ruled, they think they have us on the run. They are in for a rude awakening.
My grandfather knew James Cash Penney who enlisted his help opening the early stores across the country. He told me many stories about J.C. Penney's founder. I know for certain that not only is James Penney rolling in his grave, but my grandfather is rolling in his grave to see this great business slouching towards Gomorrah.
Today, I see J.C. Penney slouching towards Chapter 11 and they are seriously misguided if they think they can patronize the gay community enough to pull them out from disaster. They are playing a very big gamble in a game with serious consequences.
The nearest one to me is 26 miles away but I will be making it a point to travel there as often as I can. I plan to drive there within the next day or so just to get some of their fine food and even get some to take home with me. I just realized that I hadn't eaten there for many years and that is about to change.
Sad thing is the fruit community does not frequent places like Chic-fil-A nor JC Penney. Amazon perhaps but they have lost my business as has JC Penney(I’ve purchased all of my kids school clothes there in the past).
Companies might want to stop and research who their actual customers are before jumping on the bandwagon of perversion. Most of this harrassment is just posturing to see how much control they can gain over middle America and what we think and believe.
The problem is that about half of the 98% have been convinced that homosexuality is a protected class and to oppose their wishes is to be a bigot.
In my part of the country we don’t have Chick-fil-A restaurants and I never heard of them until this flap. This week I had a stop over in Philadelphia and there was a Chick-fil-A in the food court. I ordered up a sandwich, waffle fries and drink and thanked the clerk. It was great and the line at C-f-A was longer than any other line in the food area.