There are a couple of stunning errors being made which have my head in a twist, because there are clever well paid people who are supposed to be catching these opportunities.
The recipe for a successful boycott requires an easy way to switch products and cleear branding. The unsuccessful BP boycott has both. Gas consumers can simply drive across the street to buy from another vender and while BP has some subsidiary brands, if a significant number of customers simply avoided their branded stations it would have a further crippling effect on BPs profits.
Why isn’t someone knocking on my door asking me to stop buying until they have paid the $20 billion promised in damages or some other reasonable demand? Why dont we have people dressed as dirty birds or dead fish at BP stations? [Tho there was a wonderful action at the Tate Museum in London.]
Part of the answer is that we are pretending that we can do push button political action and click something on Facebook and move on. And in the spirit of this blog, the reason that this type of organizing is not happening, is that i am not doing it.
Something i can’t do and still dont understand is why the US cigarette manufacturers have not jumped into the media market on the California referendum to legalize and tax marijuana. US cigarette makers spend $15 bullion a year in advertising. Proposition 19 is lagging slightly in the polls though there are some conflicting reports. But there is basically no campaign funding opposing this referendum.
Cigarette companies are being slammed from all sides. There advertising venues are being compressed. Lawsuits abound. And cigarettes are being blamed for a host of ills from reducing worker productivity to worsening 3rd world poverty to diverting land from food production.
So why haven’t these companies seen where the market for their products is almost certainly going ? If California legalizes, there will be a huge boon in premium pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes, and there is no one better suited to create them and the giant ad campaigns around them than Phillip Morris and friends. Perhaps as little as $50 million in slick advertising (something cigarette companies are very good at) could secure a new market worth $3 to $5 billion annually.