Infographic: When Brands Speak Out, Many Consumers Are Skeptical

Taking a stance on social issues can backfire—if brands don’t mean it

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In recent weeks, Target and Bud Light have faced significant backlash for marketing or merchandise that supports LGBTQ+ individuals.

After backpedaling on their positions—Bud Light put two marketing executives on leave; Target stopped selling certain LGBTQ+ items—the brands upset a whole other segment of the population, who called them out for shallow advocacy.

Considering these events, companies may want to reevaluate their level of dedication to social issues this Pride Month. If they’re willing to take down their rainbow flags at the first sight of angry tweets, maybe they shouldn’t go up to begin with.

People across the board are skeptical of corporate activism.



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This story first appeared in the June 2023 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.