I Hate Everyone!
Well, not really. But that type of attitude usually affects the habits one has, and it stretches farther than anyone expects. Take, for example, the Media Matters boycott of Rush Limbaugh after the Sandra Fluke episode. Mary Katherine Ham noticed that it stretched a lot farther than Rush. The progressive side of the radio spectrum reports that advertisers pulled out of their programs as well.
It makes sense that, when you make advertising on talk radio treacherous for advertisers, advertisers who were inclined to the talk radio format would just hightail it outta there. When that happens, it’s not the Limbaughs or the Hannitys that bear the brunt, but the more fragile liberal talk hosts, who have never figured out how to get enough people to listen to their free product to make it profitable.
I have to admit that I have a bias against Nike. Their advertising has turned me off for many years. I remember one ad for a long-past Olympics that finished with: Second place is the first loser. Um, great message for the Olympics. Their support of some questionable characters in the sake of advertising also is off-putting. And my bias probably affects the way I purchase sporting goods equipment. So every sports company gets affected by my choice against one company. It’s a microcosm, but enough people can have an impact.
That said, I don’t think boycotts really work. Sure, you can get some people to back out, but generally losing an advertisement in one place just means that something else steps in. If anything, boycotts of conservative radio will drive conservatives to be more selective in their purchases, which affects everyone. Boycotting some other niche would do the same.
At least we know that boycotts have impact…