By Alan Murray and David Meyer
February 27, 2018

Good morning.

Delta Airlines’ decision to end discounts for NRA members has gotten it into hot water with its home state legislature. Georgia’s lieutenant governor said he would block any legislation benefiting the company unless it resumed the NRA discounts. Delta, which is one of the largest employers in Georgia, had hoped the legislature would reinstate a sales tax exemption for jet fuel that ended in 2015.

The tiff underscores the potential downside for businesses that wade into the political fray on the gun issue. Yesterday, I was with a group of CEOs at a meeting of the CECP—a CEO-led coalition of companies that focus on strategies for social engagement. Attendees were clearly torn by the gun issue. They were eager to encourage sensible action—such as restricting assault weapon sales and enhancing background checks—and frustrated by the government stalemate on the issue. But they were unwilling or unable to take some of the more far-reaching actions being pushed on them by the anti-NRA campaigns.

What was most striking to me about the conversation among the CEOs was this: All agreed that saying nothing—which used to be the go-to response of CEOs when confronted with controversial social issues—is no longer a viable option. Their employees expect them to take positions on such issues, and they feel compelled to respond.

Social media is also giving the anti-NRA forces a powerful platform to push their case on companies. Sprout Social’s analytic tools, for instance, found that @Amazon and @FedEx were getting barraged with negative #boycottNRA messages yesterday—more than 20,000 messages each—while @FNBOmaha and @Hertz, which cut ties with the NRA, were receiving a flood of positive messages.

More news below. And thanks to all who called out my turning “gun” to “gin” in yesterday’s post. “Your update has struck fear into the hearts of Tanqueray drinkers everywhere,” writes J.M.

Alan Murray


You May Like