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Public stances by businesses raise risk of consumer boycotts

Companies need to take care of the causes and people they publicly support.

That’s according to a survey by CompreCards in which 53% of respondents said they would no longer shop at their favorite retailer if it publicly supported a person or cause they strongly disagreed with. According to the survey, in the past year, 35% of Generation X and 33% of Millennials have boycotted a company or product they had spent money on in the past. Thirty percent of Gen X and 26% of Millennials are currently boycotting.

The survey found that while many Americans feel that people are too quick to call for a boycott, most think they can be effective and would consider joining one in the future.

Overall, 26% of Americans are currently boycotting a company or product they had spent money on in the past, while 32% had boycotted at some point in the past year.

In other key findings:
• Nearly eight-in-10 Americans (78%) have boycotted in the past year or would consider doing so in the future under the right circumstances. However, about half (49%) say that people are too quick to recommend a boycott (while just 17% disagree).

• Nearly six-in-10 Americans (58%) said they are more likely to buy from a company that gives to charities or is associated with causes they believe in. Just 9% disagreed.

• Men and parents with young kids are most likely to currently be boycotting.

"These survey results should be an eye-opener for businesses across the country," said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards. "Your customers are watching what you say and do, and if you back a cause or a person they strongly disagree with, they're willing to kick you and your product to the curb. They'd even be willing to do that to their favorite retailer or their primary credit card. Ultimately, these results make it clear that most Americans simply want to be heard."
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