Consumer boycotts are a very effective means to influence those in whatever market they are in to make changes. This type of non-violent protest has become a highly effective and impactful way to influence those decision makers by way of their bottom dollar. This style of boycott has become one of the more popular choices by those looking to make changes throughout large corporations around the world.
In the May 1990 issue of The Economist, in an article titled “Boycotting Corporate America” observations showed “Pressure groups are besieging American companies, politicizing business and often presenting executives with impossible choices. Consumer boycotts are becoming an epidemic for one simple reason: they work.” Although this was noted over 20 years ago the well stated observations still remain true to this day. These large corporations that are effected by this type of non-violent protest are not all that friendly when it comes to sharing information. That information would show how they have been effected and how often these protests take place.
There have been quite a few well known consumer boycotts around the world. A few examples are the European boycott of Shell when they had a plan in place to get rid of the Brent Spar oil platform at its’ location in the sea. Controversial racial remarks by upper level management in the Texaco organization was the spark of the United States boycott. There were also allegations of sexual harassment by Mitsubishi in the United States as well. These three examples achieved what those that were boycotting them wanted. Consumers boycotting is good for everyone, including big businesses. It keeps those businesses in line, makes them maintain a high standard of ethical responsibility.
This type of non-violent protest is solely dependent on one major factor, consumer participants. These consumer boycotts are necessary for both businesses and consumers. They impact both the business world as well as society all over the world.
How can you participate? Voice your opinion if you oppose what a company is doing. If you do not agree with a decision they have made about an item they choose to sell for example. Simply, do not purchase that item. If you do not support a company drilling for oil in a ecologically endangered area, call or email those political representatives in your area. Urge others that feel the way you do to participate also. These are just examples of what you can do. The biggest step you can take is the first one. If you are silent, you can’t make a difference.
Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.