Poll: Brands weighing in on Chauvin verdict aren’t having the effect they think they are

Following the Derek Chauvin verdict, where he was found guilty on all charges over the death of George Floyd, businesses started sounding off on supporting the outcome. According to a new poll, many American adults view their posturing unfavorably.

As the nation held their breath this week for the verdict in the trial, American businesses braced themselves for the worst. Most breathed a monumental sigh of relief when a guilty verdict was reached simply because it meant no rioting or destruction would ostensibly occur in its wake.

But Big Business was quick to raise their collective fists in victory over the conviction and utilize that stance for marketing purposes. Some of those that decided to use the verdict to their advantage included: American Airlines, Apple, Best Buy, Business Roundtable, Cisco, Citigroup, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, Facebook, Ford, General Motors, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Salesforce, Stellantis, Target, Twilio, Uber, Wells Fargo, and Zoom.

The same result was found even among black Americans, Democrats in general, and Biden voters according to a post-verdict Morning Consult poll. The numbers show that Americans collectively do not trust businesses trying to make hay off the verdict. On the other side of the issue, the damage due to the opportunistic grandstanding of businesses is less among white Americans, Republicans, and Trump supporters than was expected.

The poll asked participants if they would feel more or less favorable towards a company for making statements on the verdict. Then they were asked how they would feel if a company openly opposed the outcome.

Only 10 percent of adults would have a “much more favorable view” of a company if they made a statement on the verdict. Slightly more, 12 percent, would view it as “somewhat” more favorable, the survey found.

Among adults, 14 percent harbor a “much less favorable view” of a business for making a statement following the verdict. Alternately, 29 percent say that it doesn’t affect their view of a business one way or the other.

Looking at the numbers overall, the majority of 54 percent believe that a company taking a stance on the issue either does nothing for their brand or actually harms it. It’s not a big help for a business to go political on the issue and could actually hurt them.

Digging into the numbers, only 25 percent of black Americans would reportedly view a company more favorably and 21 percent of that demographic would see the company less favorably. A sobering 23 percent say it would make virtually no difference to them. It would appear that the move is not productive and not profitable.

White Americans are basically in the same camp with 20 percent seeing a business taking a stance as more favorable and a notable 27 percent seeing it as less favorable. Unsurprisingly, 30 percent don’t see it either way.

Biden voters had a 33 percent positive reaction to businesses being in favor of the verdict, with 47 percent having no reaction or a negative one.

Trump voters had a 12 percent positive view of businesses who support the verdict, while 24 percent had no reaction and a whopping 45 percent had a negative reaction to companies in favor of the verdict.

The glaring result of businesses opposing the guilty verdict was significant compared to those who supported it… which was not much different from the broader first question. Only 15 percent favorably reacted to this stance whereas 49 percent had a negative reaction, with 18 percent reportedly not caring about it.

What was seemingly evident was that however a business weighs in on the verdict, Americans don’t trust them and are not motivated by the move. What is evident, is that businesses don’t gain much of anything by coming out publicly in favor or against the verdict. Politics and business don’t seem to mix well in American culture.

By going political, businesses created more divisiveness among Americans and it seemingly did not impress consumers.

Here are some of the tweets sent out by businesses following the verdict:


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