The Whole Foods boycott we helped initiate with a post late Wednesday night finally got a response from the company this evening. I'll respond more fully tomorrow with a post here which I'll cross post at the Big Orange Satan. But here are a few things to chew on in the meantime:
1. The apology doesn't come from CEO John Mackey but from the PR team at Whole Foods. It's kind of a "sorry our CEO is an asshat" kind of thing.
2. The PR folks say he was just giving his opinion on health care not Whole Foods' opinion but then they go on to defend his opinion. Huh? When I give my own personal opinion I don't have a PR team which doesn't represent me then go and defend me.
3.They blame the WSJ editors for a misleading headline which made it seem like it was a Whole Foods' position, not just Mackey's but a) Mackey's piece included Whole Foods' health plan as an alternative solution and b) was invited into the WSJ because it was written by the Whole Foods CEO, not just some citizen named John Mackey. In short, their headline was not surprising. And it was clear from the piece he was not a fan of almost every health care reform element the President has advocated.
4. You can't have it both ways. You can't have a CEO against real health care reform, using his CEO status to write high profile opinion pieces, and at the same time say "sorry, it's just his personal opinion. Please keep shopping here because we're a progressive store and many of our employees have tattoos even if our CEO wears an ass-shaped hat."
5. "Coincidentally" this apology comes just as Wall Street noticed the boycott. A piece ran this evening on Motley Fool, a widely read report on stock trading which is affiliated with CNN.com's Money section.In after hours trading the stock continued it's downward fall and finished the day down 2%, a sizable one day drop. The Dow fell 0.82% today and the Nasdaq 1.19%. A few days before his WSJ OpEd, Mackey sold more than a million dollars worth of Whole Foods' stock. Details here.
6. The Boycott Whole Foods Facebook page is nearing 6,000 members. Still need to get this to 10,000 to really have impact.
7. Significant coverage of the story in the traditional media today, detailed here.
That is all for tonight, more tomorrow.