The former reality show host, Donald Trump, may never work in television again after the year long love-hate relationship he has cultivated with the American people. If history repeats itself, sponsors will flee from the Republican Presidential nominee.
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency. Then The Donald opened his mouth, and extremely derogatory words came out against Mexicans. By July 9, multiple companies dropped their business associations with the candidate.
First Companies to Dump Trump
- Univision issued a statement that they would not air the Miss USA pageant or anything else tied to the candidate.
- Televisa fired the Trump and stated that there would not be a representative from their pageant to compete in the Miss Universe competition. Costa Rica and Panama followed Mexico in the decision.
- Farouk Systems said it would no longer associate itself with Trump.
- NBCUniversal, the network disassociated itself from the former reality star; essentially he was fired. NBC carried both The Apprentice and Miss Universe were the candidate’s programs.
- Macy’s no longer allowed the candidate to represent the chain. Furthermore, the Trump menswear collection was phased out of all the stores.
- PVH Corp. manufacturers the candidate’s clothing line for Macy’s. The company said it would start to decrease production and ultimately, cease production altogether.
- NASCAR did not formally sever the relationship with the reality star, but they appeared to be putting distance between Trump and the organization.
- Serta released a statement stating it would be “unwinding [its] relationship” with the candidate.
- ESPN announced they would move the upcoming ESPY Celebrity Golf Course from the candidate’s National Golf Club.
- PGA decided to seek a different location for the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
- The Owner of ThinkFoodGroup and 18 restaurants, Jose Andres, decided he no longer wished to open a premier restaurant in Trump’s International’s new hotel located in Washington D.C.
- Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian stated he and his business partner would not open their restaurant in the candidate’s buildings.
- A Purfumania representative announced that they were going to cease making “the Donald’s” colognes; Success and Empire by Trump.
Interestingly, the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) proclaimed it would be renaming three flight coordinates. These include UFIRD (“you’re fired”), TRMMP, and DONLD at the Palm Beach International Airport. In 2010, an air traffic employee, a big fan of the reality star, named the coordinates. Trump lost his routes in the clouds.
9 Major Sponsors Drop Trump’s Republican Convention
Between June 16, 2015, and June 20, 2016, the business magnate managed to alienate many people in the United States, and sponsors noticed. The following corporations decided to pull their sponsorship from the Republican National Convention (RNC):
- Apple Inc.
- Microsoft Corp.
- Coca-Cola Company
- Wells Fargo & Company
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Motorola Inc.
- JP Morgan Chase Bank
- United Parcel Service Inc.
- Ford Motor Company
Activists Instrumental in Corporations Ditching Trump
The primary reason sponsors steered clear of the RNC was the perceived possibility of violence, according to MSNBC. Trump spoke of riots occurring during the convention.
The New York Times wrote:
In addition to Mr. Trump’s divisive politics, there is the possibility that protests, or even violence, will become a focus of attention at the convention. Mr. Trump has suggested that there will be “riots” if he is not chosen as the party’s nominee, and the city of Cleveland recently sought bids for about 2,000 sets of riot gear for its police force.
Activists from Color of Change has found allies in women’s rights, Muslim, and Hispanic organizations. The groups may have been instrumental in the corporations’ decisions to dump Trump and stay away from the RNC.
Color of Change has spent time convincing image-conscious companies. In April, the group pressured Coca-Cola to withdraw support. They claimed that if the company chose to stay away from the convention, it would be a definite sign of corporate leadership. After this letter, the activist group began a suggestive online petition that included a disturbing photo. It was a bottle of Coca-Cola with the slogan, “Share a Coke with the KKK.”
The New York Times explained that this was a blatant reference to Trump’s initial refusal to renounce the support of David Duke, a former KKK leader. Discussion between Color of Change and Coca-Cola’s executive director, Rashad Robinson apparently convinced the corporation to withdraw its support.
The founder and executive director of a woman’s rights group, UltraViolet, Nita Chaudhary had this to say:
Many Republican governors had felt pressure from businesses over gay rights, as companies compete with one another to be the most socially progressive. Well, there’s no greater threat to women and people of color in this country than Donald Trump.
Currently, Trump has done nothing to rebuild his reputation. After the recent debacle of the video with the man disparaging women by claiming his star-power allowed him to kiss and fondle women without their consent, he offered a half-hearted apology. In it, he claimed he was simply speaking with another man using typical locker room jock talk. He further added that he did not believe anyone cared.
The statement made by a bipartisan public-relations consultant, Bruce Haynes, earlier this year referred to the clashes between protestors and police during the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. He said, “These are Maalox moments for everyone,” comparing the ’68 DNC to the 2016 RNC. It would appear that sponsors who chose to tread lightly will influence sponsors now and in the future. Trump’s reality seems clear – he may not be able to entice corporations to pay for his TV programs.
By Cathy Milne
ABC News: The Companies That Have Dumped Donald Trump
Fortune: More Companies Are Pulling Money Out of Trump’s Republican Convention
MSNBC: Corporate sponsors keep their distance from Republican convention
The New York Times: Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention
Sun-Sentinel: Palm Beach airport names flight coordinates after Donald Trump
All Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License