Should Amazon Smile Take A Stand?

Last Fall, Amazon Smile appeared and gave customers a way to designate 0.5 percent of all their purchases to a charity of choice. Brilliant. It created yet more reasons for people to feel good about their purchase—right down to the cause they care most about.

But what happens when such a beautifully cultivated program has to take a public stand? That’s the question now. When the Boy Scouts of America revoked the charter of the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church because they refused to throw out gay Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath, the LGBT community got on it—quick. Over the weekend, press activity and social media ramped up with public pleas to revoke support of the Boy Scouts on Amazon Smile, even publishing the legal policy around what makes an organization eligible.

This kind of debate is life today. It’s culture today. Social highways have created avenues to shout out and stand out that we’ve never seen before, and a passionate 18 year old in Texas can start a movement. With his message, Amazon Smile advocates—the ones that truly believe every action has the potential to spark good or harm—might pause and question their decision. “Yes, I’m supporting my cause by supporting Amazon—but what is Amazon supporting? Does it align with my personal values?”

Regardless of your belief system, these are important considerations because they ultimately lead to buying behaviors. The powerful emotional glue that retailer’s tap into with cause support can also force them into public accountability.

It’s out there—Amazon doesn’t support any kind of discrimination. Should they now use their weight to influence the Boy Scouts of America? What role should behemoth retailers have in influencing public issues like this?

Contributed By: Laura Davis Taylor, Dallas Integer Office

Photo Source: Huffington Post