Is Target Still Paying the Price for Citizens United?


There are signs that Target is still suffering from the public relations disaster that followed its donation to Republican Tom Emmer, the Minnesota gubernatorial candidate—a contribution made possible by the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. The Minnesota Independent flags a study from Brandweek, a marketing industry trade magazine, which shows that the retail giant’s reputation took a big hit in early August and hasn’t recovered since. Progressive activists railed against Target after discovering that the LGBT-friendly company funneled money to Emmer, a right-wing social conservative. Brandweek says the campaign seems to have succeeded in dampening consumer perception of Target’s brand, citing its scores based on a “BrandIndex Report” that calculates “positive and negative perceptions of a brand.”

Here’s Brandweek’s analysis: “Although Target’s score recovered modestly from Aug. 12 through Aug. 24, it sunk again due to a rash of major newspaper op-eds, blog posts and publicity surrounding televised boycott ads from MoveOn PAC.”

Such findings might give corporations pause about openly pouring cash into campaigns. But that will partly depend on whether this kind of backlash has a lasting impact and whether watchdog groups will be as reactive the next time around.

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.