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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Controversy brewing

Yuengling’s public support for Donald Trump inspires boycott

America’s oldest brewery caused quite a stir when a tweet revealed that the Yuengling brewing company of Pottsville, Pa., supported Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The news broke on Oct. 24, when Trump’s son Eric tweeted, “Thank you to Dick Yuengling for an amazing tour of the oldest brewery in the U.S!” According to Eric Trump, the brewery owner and company president said, “Our guys are behind your father, we need him in there.”

Immediately following Eric Trump’s tweet, Americans on Twitter began discussing a boycott of the brand. Billy Penn, a local Philadelphia news outlet, even released a list of alternative beers for people considering the boycott.

“Personally, I am no longer supporting Yuengling after their endorsement of Trump,” said Sara Leonetti, ’17, a lifelong Philadelphia resident. “But I don’t necessarily feel betrayed by anyone who is still buying Yuengling the way I would by someone voting [for] Trump.”

Others, however, seem more ambivalent about the company’s support of the candidate.

“I don’t think it’s completely fair for people to throw Yuengling under the bus for their political opinions,” said Justin Russell, ’17. “But everyone has their right to use the power of their dollar to influence politics and society.”

Yuengling is not the first brand to voice support of, or disdain for, candidates in this election. Earlier this year, Skittles and Tic Tac USA disavowed the Republican candidate after comments referencing both brands were made by Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr.

Tic Tac USA responded to the Washington Post’s leaked audio of Trump making lewd comments about sexually assaulting women. The brand tweeted, “Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior [of Trump] completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Skittles also made a strong statement after Trump, Jr., tweeted a meme that said, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and told you three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” A spokeswoman for Wrigley, Skittles’ parent company, replied, saying, “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

While some brands have been outspoken about their support of or disdain for the Republican nominee, no major brands have taken public stances on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

According to a story by Fortune, while Clinton may not have explicit endorsement from brands, she does have the support of the CEOs and leaders of several major companies. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and famed investor Warren Buffett have both announced their support for Clinton. Clinton has also received donations from Apple CEO Tim Cook and Dreamworks Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Reed Hastings, CEO and co-founder of popular streaming service Netflix, has also made public statements about the presidential candidates. He said in an interview with CNN, “Trump would destroy much of what is great about America. It’s important that Trump lose by a landslide to reject what he stands for.”

The practice of brands and business owners speaking out publically about presidential candidate has continued in this election. While their statements have inspired some consumers to reconsider their support for certain companies, it remains to be seen whether these endorsements or denouncements will affect voters’ opinions of the candidates.

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