"In recent days, we've seen our brand swept into the political fray, becoming collateral damage in others' efforts to advance agendas unrelated to what we do," the company said. A social media campaign called "Grab Your Wallet" has urged a boycott of stores that stock Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump products, which include Dillard's, Lord & Taylor and Amazon. Belk Inc. has said it will no longer carry Ivanka Trump items on its website, and QVC said it no longer sells her merchandise. Even seemingly innocuous Super Bowl ads provoke sharply divided reactions. Ads that touched on immigration and diversity from advertisers including Budweiser, 84 Lumber and Coca-Cola drew Twitter chatter both pro- and anti-, with some even calling for a boycott of Budweiser -- although nothing substantial materialized. Other recent campaigns include: --A #BoycottStarbucks campaign developed after the company responded to Trump's immigration order by pledging to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years. -- Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit Trump's council of business leaders after an outcry from customers and employees who were upset about the travel ban, and a social media campaign urged people to delete the app. --Cereal maker Kellogg Co.
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They could punish brands with which they disagreed, and reward those whose views aligned with theirs. In the polarized Trump era, the simple act of buying a drink or shoes has never seemed so political. Social media makes it easier than ever for activists and consumers to target or defend stores and brands that take a stand or those they see as proxies for a politician. As a result, every shopping bag is a potential political statement, said Allen Adamson, founder of Brand Simple, a consulting firm. It is like carrying a sign in a rally. Patterson said her political views have absolutely influenced her buying decisions. I think everybody has their different extremes, or what they feel is worth taking a stand for, said Patterson, who turns 34 today, as she shopped with her husband and 16-month-old daughter at an Allentown mall. The weaponized buying experienced can be a minefield for retailers and brands, many of which are already struggling as malls fall out of favor and people buy more online. Some companies deliberately enter the political fray, betting that their customers will support their points of view. Others tread carefully, trying to avoid a backlash.
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