Is the Next Target for Web Activists Your Favorite Device Maker?


Apple could be next in line to face a groundswell of online and brick-and-mortar activism. Recent revelations about the harsh working conditions at the company’s manufacturing partners’ plants overseas may inspire the kind of grassroots movement that crippled anti-piracy legislation in Congress and forced Susan G. Komen for the Cure to reverse an unpopular decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.

Today, Apple customers plan on protesting Apple’s manufacturing relationships with Chinese factories “where conditions are so bad, it’s not uncommon for workers to permanently lose the use of their hands.” Customers will deliver around 200,000 signatures to Apple store locations in New York, San Francisco, London and more, according to a statement from Change.org, the Web site that hosted and raised awareness for the petition. The petitioners want Apple to create a “worker protection strategy” for new product releases that prevent abuses caused by manufacturing deadlines.

Apple reacted quickly to the Jan. 25 New York Times article that exposed the working conditions at manufacturing plants in China that build Apple products. In an internal e-mail, CEO Tim Cook said Apple cares about every worker in its supply chain, and to accuse it of the opposite is “patently false and offensive to us.”

However, as evidenced by the 200,000-strong petition en route to Apple Stores, plus 50,000 more signatures via SumOfUs.org, Cook’s internal e-mail was obviously not enough to satisfy Apple customers.

Apple should prepare itself for a potential tidal wave of public opinion. The supporters of the SOPA anti-piracy bill and Susan G. Komen's leaders were caught flat-footed, but a company like Apple doesn't have the excuse of being unaware of the growing power of the social Web.

Follow Sahil Patel: @sizpatel

 




Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News'Crisis Management Boot Camp

Crisis_Boot_banners_175x135_ep

Join PR News on September 15, 2014, at the historic Yale Club in New York City for an intensive boot camp will put you through the paces of crisis communications to help you avoid, or at least mitigate, the damage that can come to a brand.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook

book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.