Financial goals, do feel it is advisable for brands to take stands on social/political issues?

In the current era of political divisiveness, with people taking widely divergent stances on a variety of socially-sensitive issues, brands are confronted with decisions regarding whether, and how, they should wade into these controversies. At an Advertising Week event, Marc S. Pritchard, chief brand officer at Proctor & Gamble came down firmly on the side of companies taking political stands. (Brands Should Have a Purpose and Must Take a Stand on Social Issues) (Links to an external site.), based on the notion that “what we do in advertising matters.” This came on the heels of the well-publicized decision on the part of Nike to prominently feature former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an advertising campaign. (Kaepernick famously kneeled during the playing of the national anthem to protest social injustice and was subsequently was seemingly blacklisted by the league). With the recognition that in the current politically fraught era, espousing values and taking political positions may be at odds with a firm’s financial goals, do feel it is advisable for brands to take stands on social/political issues?

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