Posted by: saadny | Posted on: December 19th, 2011 | 0 Comments
Earlier last week, Lowe’s pulled ads from the eight part TLC “All American Muslim” series after pressure from a right wing group Christian group known as Florida Family Association.
In the aftermath of this incident, consumers are sending social media shock waves through the Market and to the broader nation. Twitter, Facebook and prominent blogs have all erupted with messages constructively criticizing Lowe’s for their recent ads pullout. In a nation where pluralism and religious freedom are considered hallmarks, it is saddening to see corporations give into the bigotry which solely serves to eliminate the democratic ideals of what America was founded upon.
What prominent political leaders and entertainers are saying:
- Rep. Chris Murphy of Connecticut criticized Lowe’s for “rubber-stamping basic foundational bigotry against a major American religious group” in a House floor speech.
- “Lowe’s religious discrimination is the equivalent of a company asserting that it is pulling advertising from the Christian Broadcast Network’s 700 Club because the program somehow ‘riskily hides’ the agenda of Christian radicalized groups such as Aryan Nation,” Sen. Ted Lieu of California wrote. “That assertion would, of course, be utter nonsense and religious bigotry.”
- “U endorse hate. U may be held accountable, we will promote a boycott if they don’t reinstate campaign and apologise,” Russell Simmons tweeted. Mr Simmons actually stepped up even more and decided to buy all the remaining ad spots available on All-American Muslim himself!
In the past few years, major retailers including Whole Foods, Best Buy and WalMart have acknowledged the Muslim market and its potential. This comes to no surprise, as the American Muslim market is confirmed to be highly affluent, educated and serving as productive members of society.
We’ve highlighted some key reasons why the American Muslim market presents a significant opportunity to brands.
3 Reasons Why Lowe’s (and others) Should Market to Muslims:
- “Two-thirds of Muslim households make more than $50,000 a year and a quarter earn over $100,000. The national average is $42,000.” – The Economist. With an estimated 7 million US Muslim consumers, an annual spending power of over $170 Billion in the US alone, and a growing population, companies should be vying for their attention, much less alienate and marginalize them.
- American Muslims are the most racially diverse group surveyed in the United States. Forty percent of Muslims have a college degree, making them the second most highly educated religious group surveyed after Jews (61 percent), compared with 29 percent of Americans overall.” (source)
- Vast majority of Muslim consumers would be loyal to a brand if it supports Muslim identity through promotions around religious celebrations. Furthermore, “when faced with a brand that has offended Muslims, almost 99% of consumers said that they would stop using it, 65% doing so even if the available alternatives were not as good.” – (source: Ogilvy Noor)
It is still not too late for Lowe’s to try to win the hearts back of the American Muslim consumer. At the very least, they can issue a sincere apology, which they have yet to do. In the meanwhile, Muslim Ad Network will be deploying a campaign that taps into Muslim Ad Network’s extensive reach to encourage American Muslims to take constructive action to help Lowe’s remedy this PR fallout. Stay tuned for more details about our upcoming campaign.