Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Too Early to Lift the Boycott of Wal-Mart?

Late last week I posted an entry here about the American Family Association rescinding their call for a boycott of Wal-Mart. Not surprising with the Christmas shopping season getting underway, that post (you can re-read it here) has been one of the "most visted" of the month.

Well, I said in that entry that although Don Wildmon was convinced of Wal-Mart's change of heart, I certainly wasn't. And I wondered if other groups who had joined the boycott were going to be swayed by what I suspected might be merely a cosmetic move by the multi-national company. The answers are coming in. Here's the Family Research Council's response:

Before you put Wal-Mart on your naughty list this Christmas, a recent corporate statement shows that the company is trying to make amends for its pro-homosexual actions. In a press release made public before the biggest shopping day of the year, Wal-Mart says it will "no longer make corporate contributions to support or oppose controversial issues unless they directly relate to their ability to serve their customers." To dispel the unrest over its political leanings, the statement went on to say, "Wal-Mart does not have a position on same-sex marriage, and we do not give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers." This was welcome news to Rev. Don Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA), who has since cancelled AFA's post Thanksgiving boycott.

Other groups, like Ohio's Citizens for Community Values (CCV) organization, are taking a "wait and see" approach. CCV President Phil Burress refuses to call off his group's boycott until Wal-Mart takes back its $25,000 donation to the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce or ends its membership next year.

For a company that has suffered a loss of profits and credibility among consumers, only time will tell if Wal-Mart can win back its base. It will take high standards, not just low prices, to persuade America's families.