Coca-Cola, a longtime sponsor of the Republican National Convention, has declined to match the $660,000 it provided for the 2012 Republican National Convention, dropping its donation to $75,000 for this year’s gathering.
At this point, most bets are on businessman Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee, and the New York Times reports that many companies are getting skittish ahead of the July gathering in Cleveland. Trump’s divisive rhetoric has offended many, and violence has broken out at his rallies. As diversity becomes more than just a catchphrase, corporations such as Apple, Wal-Mart and Google are reportedly assessing their contributions to this year’s Republican convention, too.
“We haven’t made any decisions,” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Wal-Mart, which contributed $150,000 to the Republican convention in 2012, according to the Times.
Activist organizations such ColorOfChange.org, in partnership with a diverse coalition of other organizations, led the charge against Coke. In February the organzation and advocates sent letters to Coca-Cola, Google, Adobe, Xerox, AT&T and Cisco calling on them to cancel their sponsorships of the convention if Trump, the current Republican front-runner, is the nominee.
One has to believe that the more than 124,000 signatures collected by ColorOfChange.org had some bearing on the beverage brand’s decision to pull back. Other organizations, such as Credo, UltraViolet, Care 2, SumOfUs and MoveOn.org, have collectively amassed more than 360,000 signatures for this campaign.
“We have said from the beginning that this isn’t about left or right, but about right and wrong,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. “Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric has inflamed a national atmosphere already hostile to Latino, Muslim and black communities, as well as women and people with disabilities. He has inspired violent attacks on peaceful protesters and journalists, and all the while has continued to be given a free pass by much of mainstream media and corporate sponsors.”
Robinson adds: “We are glad that Coca-Cola is choosing to do the right thing by rethinking what will surely be an international platform for more hate and intolerance.”
Read more at the New York Times.