Politics Technology Gun Control

As NRA chatter trends, brands & media owners stand divided on affiliating with lobbying group


By Bennett Bennett, Staff writer

February 26, 2018 | 4 min read

As brands pull away from associating with the National Rifle Association, others continue their working relationship with the lobbying group.

Shotgun Casings

The NRA continues to be the topic of conversation, as well as brands who are for and against the lobbying group. / David Leveque via Unsplash

The #BoycottNRA conversation that started after the Parkland, Florida shooting that claimed 17 lives has been a mainstay on Twitter. According to listening analytics platform Sprout Social, conversations involving the @NRA handle and the hashtag have appeared more than 43k times, with the sentiments roughly 61% negative.

Brands that have cut ties with the group have seen an instant boost in favorability amongst Twitter users. Hertz, for example, was one of the first car rental companies that rescinded its discount to NRA members. Since February 23, the brand has been mentioned over 12k times on Twitter, with about 81% of those conversations being deemed positive.

On the flip side, brands such as FedEx have stayed put, saying in a tweet: "While we strongly support the constitutional rights of US citizens to own firearms subject to appropriate background checks, FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused."

Even with its statement, FedEx's continued affiliation with the NRA has given it a negative reception in the public eye. In almost 30k conversations, the sentiments of 57% of the conversations were negative.

Overall, around 20 previous brand partners of the NRA have severed affiliation, including Enterprise, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, MetLife, Symantec, Best Western, and hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Hearing. On the other side of the fence, FedEx joins outdoor goods store Bass Pro Shops, as well as Apple, Amazon, Youtube, and Roku, who all have NRA's content channel on their respective streaming services.

The NRA considered the exodus of brands a "shameful display of political and civil cowardice" this past weekend, adding that losing discounts "will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”

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