Media Attempts Cover Up of New Evidence: Being Pro-SSM Hurts Brands Across Political Lines


The real story here is that if a company endorses SSM its reputation will suffer. Forbes, for instance, is trying to bury that finding with the headline "Higher Democrat Perception for LGBT brands" when in actuality brand support for companies perceiving to be pro-SSM has dropped among BOTH Republicans and Democrats:

"While overall Buzz scores for the index of brands have decreased among both groups, the decline is more significant among consumers who identify themselves as Republican."

Take a look at this chart for "brands which have publicly supported LGBT" filtered by Democrat and Republican consumers from January 1st to September 5th of this year. The brands measured are ", American Apparel, Apple, General Mills Brands, Google, Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Levi’s, Macy’s, Microsoft, Nabisco, Nike and Starbucks."

No matter how media outlets try to spin it the chart could not be more clear -- coming out for gay marriage hurts a corporation's brand:

Graph from BrandIndex.


  1. Randy E King
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    And have any of you noticed how the talking heads have been professing their opposition to boycotting companies for taking a position on "social" topics lately?

    Ad money pays the bills in T.V. land and the last thing the talking heads want to do is give their benefactors’ cause to take their business somewhere else. When you see the talking heads spout off about how boycotting these companies is the wrong thing to do you can pretty much surmise that the brands in question are feeling it in their wallets.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the green curtain" should be setting off the warning bells for anyone paying attention…

  2. Randy E King
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    "Never stop fighting until the fight is won."

  3. OvercameSSA
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    With the exceptions of Starbucks and Apple, these aren't gay brands; I suspect that the bumps we see on the Democrats line are from homosexuals buying a non-gay brand after support for ss"m" was announced, then returning to their normal purchasing at Pottery Barn, Neiman Marcus, and other high-end shops, not to mention antique stores.

  4. Tribune
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    If we all continue on this path, companies and then the government will think twice about supporting false marriages. I am one of those who either not buying or have scaled back drastically (while finding a substitute). My dollar will not support this comedy of errors.

  5. Jon
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    This chart doesn't show in any way a relationship between supporting SSM and customer support. Coincidence does not imply causation whatsoever.

    If you want to try to measure the effect, you could compare how similar companies did in the same time period, in which one set of companies came out in support of SSM, and the others didn't. Even then, there are going to be a whole lot of other factors for each company which are way more important than supporting or not supporting SSM.

    Nice try, though.

  6. Zack
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink


    "If you want to try to measure the effect, you could compare how similar companies did in the same time period, in which one set of companies came out in support of SSM, and the others didn't."

    They did. Those who hold on to the values of this country shop less at companies that have taken a different path. Now for me personally, I realized that boycotts are dumb and that I'd rather choose freedom of speech than shutting people out for differing views.

    But if you want to look at a company that holds to traditional American values, look at Chick-Fil-A. The social left tried to punish this company for free speech, but the people's reaction was flipping the perverbial bird by eating there to show their support.

  7. Zack
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    typo: tried to punish this company for free speech and holding on to our Judeo-Christian values*

  8. Aaron
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink


  9. Neil
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I oppose SSM, but with all due respect, this graph is awful...what do the numbers even represent? Dollars? Percentage? Time in store per month? If my student handed this to me, I would tell them to do it again because it isn't labeled properly. Come on...

  10. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    The numbers on the left are the YouGov BrandIndex Buzz score. We know that higher numbers are better, but to understand how they're arrived at you have to do a bit of research:

  11. Zack
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink


    I think it shows a decline of people who frequent these businesses.

  12. John Colgan
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    What a incredibly poorly written story! Forbes really dropped the ball on this one.

    Here's what BrandIndex's site says about their Buzz score:

    "Buzz (whether people have heard anything positive or negative about the brand in the media or through word of mouth)".

    Here's what the Forbes story says:

    "The YouGov BrandIndex Buzz score shows that Democrat consumers tend to perceive companies which support LGBT causes in a more positive light than Republican consumers do."

    Anyone see the disconnect? Per BrandIndex, the Buzz score has nothing to do with a customer's perception of a company, it only reflects whether what they hear about in via word of mouth and the media is positive or negative. It tells us nothing about whether or not the consumer in question agrees with what they are hearing.

    So, what does graph really tell us? That GOP voters are more likely than Democratic voters to have heard all the negative pronouncements about these inclusive companies that groups like NOM are furiously putting out. It says nothing about whether either group agrees with or even finds such pronouncements to be credible. Lacking a control group of brands that have taken no stance on marriage equality, or even better companies like Chick-fil-A that came out opposed to equality to compare these results to, we can draw absolutely zero conclusions about the impact of supporting marriage equality on a brand's "buzz".

  13. John Noe
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Poster #5:

    Did you even bother to pay attention to the Chick-Fil-A campaign?

  14. Paul Mc
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    #12 - well said. A snapshot of 9 months measuing brand awareness does not equatedirectly to loss of sales or profit. That many companies mantain their strong support for LBGT rights despite possibility negative perceptions arising is to be admired.

    I suspect they feel that their brands are stronger than this blip and in any case, their profits are what matter and that is not dented as many of these are global brands where NOM boycotts are small noises.

  15. Randy E King
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink


    Do you actually believe the earning reports this cretins post...? GM was doing just find all the way up until the time they filed BK.

    At my current company the execs always find a way to justify the year-end bonuses, or to quote one of the lower level Directors "They are trying to find a way to justify bonuses; and they do like their bonuses."

    "Figures do not lie, but liars figure."

  16. Jon
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    @John Noe
    I'm not sure what the Chick-Fil-A "campaign" has to do with my comment. Does the graph above compare Chick-Fil-A profits to pro-SSM company profits over time? Would Chick-Fil-A suffice as a control to compare, or would we need more than 1 company as a control?

    My point stands -- you can't come to conclusions based on the statistics shown above.

  17. Randy E King
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


    Chick-Fil-a is a undeniable high visibility reference point to draw from. By my math some twenty million people showed up that day to demonstrate their opposition to the tyranny you are pimping as the new truth according to you; so help you you.

    Speaking as one those who stood in line that day I can attest to the fact that my family now takes pride in being discriminating shoppers; taking steps to avoid brands that have expressed opposition to our values.

    All things being equal; I doubt my family is the only one...

  18. Little Man
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Well, the Buzz index, however defined by the surveyors, is not going UP for these companies - that's for sure.

    The Buzz index is not an index of profits, notice. But it would be a vague index that corporations would pay attention to, because by the time their corporation starts going negative - it is too late.

    Yes, all these corporations have indeed been documented to have publicly supported LGBT goals (one of which is same-sex marriage, or so-called 'equality', or same-sex civil unions).