Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Shop Your Politics: BuyBlue.org has been around for a while, but it seems to have made a major push this holiday season, reaching out to liberal bloggers and getting more attention than in the past. The site is designed for progressives and provides them with an opportunity to assess the politics and social responsibility activities of companies before purchasing their products or services.

Companies are rated on five critera--labor and human rights, the environment, employment quality, corporate and social responsibility, and industry practices--with ratings ranging from deep blue (progressive) to deep red (profoundly evil). The companies' political donations are also tracked.

I figured I'd check out one of the companies I do an obscene amount of business with: Amazon.com. I've always assumed Amazon was a fairly progressive company, but it gets a red circle for labor and human rights (click on it, and it links to three articles that detail the company's fight against labor unions) that's party balanced by a blue circle for social responsibility (which links to stories about its support for tsunami relief efforts and other charities). But Amazon also gives the majority of its political cash to Republicans.

So maybe I should be giving my money to Barnes & Noble instead. Barnes & Noble--which I've always thought of as more "corporate" (whatever that means) than Amazon--actually gets blue ratings for both employment equality (there's an article about domestic partner benefits, among others) and social responsibility. And it gives most of its money to Democrats.

I might do a little more research, but I feel a lot less positive about Amazon than I did an hour ago. And I'll use BuyBlue again, as much as a source of data for my research as for shopping decisions.

(Of course, there's no reason why Republicans shouldn't use the site too: they could use the ratings to find companies that treat their employees like crap, despoil the environment, and discriminate against women and minorities.)


  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger lgr said…

    Thanks for pointing this out since I did not know about this way of sorting companies. I have always presumed that Fortune 500 companies were predominantly Republican. lgr

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