I can’t say that I have ever had a very good opinion of organizations like PETA, otherwise known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
I have an image of PETA as an almost para-militant organization and associate them with highly confrontational tactics, such as flinging paint at unsuspecting socialites wearing fur coats and the “Running of the Nudes” event that will occur in Pamplona, Spain, in a few days in protest to the running of the bulls.
As such, I never suspected that they would also choose a more conventional and capitalist approach.
PETA says that they have bought shares in 24 companies, including
Cosco, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger, Yum! Brands (the parent company of Pizza Hut, KFC, and others), McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Tyson Foods.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
This is an interesting strategy from the public relations standpoint. It does say something about your organization that a commonplace act, buying stock, would be considered newsworthy.
PETA wants the companies in which they are buying stock to change the way that they kill chickens, and in their press release they describe a pretty horrific death for chickens that was written for maximum effect and includes shackles, electric shocks, excessive bleeding and boiling alive.
I wonder if their campaign will be at all effective since they are only buying token amounts of stock. It does give them the right as shareholder to attend annual meetings, but as I wrote about Home Depot’s recent annual meeting, this does not mean that they will be heard.
In general, do you think such tactics just cause a stir, or do they sometimes effect change?