The Year In Review: A Lot Of Companies Made Political Mistakes In 2018

2018 was a big year, particularly for Goods Unite Us. Over the course of the year we had 88K users on our app and 327K users on our website. Those users viewed some 2,295,314 brand and company pages. Some of the most viewed company pages included:  AARP, A New Day (Target brand), Amazon, AT&T, AAA, Walmart, Chick-Fil-A, Airbnb, and Hobby Lobby (to name a few). We also had 8,717 people take our Rate Yourself quiz to learn more about the politics of their own consumerism.

When you add it all up, it’s a lot. Our team had a ton of fun doing it, and we’re just getting started!

But enough about us, a lot of other stuff happened in 2018. Here’s a review of some of the top political issues affecting companies in 2018:

The NRA Boycott

In February, a boycott of the NRA and its business affiliates emerged. This followed the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the NRA was criticized for its response, which included that schools should arm teachers. Some of the companies who took a stand against the NRA included United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Avis (Budget and Hertz), Wells Fargo, and Omni Hotel.The NRA’s campaign finance reform (CFR) score is (-88) and they contribute 98% to Republicans and 2% to Democrats. Curious about the scores of the companies involved? Download our free app!


It was reported late in 2018 that Walgreens gave a lot of money to the GOP to obtain a tax break in the state of Wisconsin. Some people were very upset because Walgreens portrays itself as a “feel good” community store. Walgreens’ CFR score is +31. And the company and its senior leaders give 46% to Republicans and 54% to Democrats.

Papa John’s

The CEO used an offensive word  during a conference call, a mishap that ended up costing the company a reported $50M. And it cost the CEO his job. Papa John’s has a CFR score of (-71) and contributes 96% to Republicans and 4% to Democrats.


Some people were outraged by Nike’s ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, because of the former San Francisco 49ers anti-police brutality movement, which some people feel is unpatriotic. Goods Unite Us wrote about it here. Nike’s CFR score is (-48) with a breakdown that’s 58% Republican and 42% Democratic.

Elon Musk

He’s not a company but he owns a few, like SpaceX and Tesla. In September, Musk broke the internet when he smoked marijuana on The Joe Rogan Experience. And there was widespread news about his donation to a Republican fundraising committee. He was also fined and kicked off his board for inappropriate tweeting. Tesla’s CFR score is +44 and the company and its senior leaders contribute 68% to Democrats and 32% to Republicans.

Our mission at Goods Unite Us is about transparency and getting corporate money out of politics. If you want to put your money where your vote is, so that brands and companies will know where you stand, here are two actions you can take in 2019:

  • Download our free app and shop in alignment with your beliefs and values.
  • Rate yourself and find out what values your consumerism supports.  Soon we’ll that adding a feature that will give you suggestions about where else to shop if you’re unhappy with your score.
  • Already took the quiz and made some changes?  Take it again to see how your score changed!
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