Nike, American Airlines and Coca-Cola have been accused of putting 'woke politicians' ahead of their customers.
The three companies were targeted in a $1million ad campaign by Consumers' Research, a nearly 100-year-old conservative-leaning watchdog.
The 30-second Nike advert, entitled with Cover, begins with a picture of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and describes Nike as 'constantly political.'
Kaepernick led protests against police brutality, taking a knee for the National Anthem before games. He was then hired by Nike as a model.
'Nike is constantly political. Why? Cover,' the ad asks.
Nike, American Airlines and Coca-Cola are slammed by Consumers' Research for using 'woke politics' https://t.co/VGlXFrDBfE— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) May 19, 2021
'Congressional reports suspect Nike used forced labor in China. Religious minorities were ripped from their families, sterilized, sold to factories. Nike made shoes in those same areas.
'Congress tried to ban Nike's labor practices. Nike fought back with highly-paid lobbyists.'
The advert then called out John Donahoe, the 61-year-old CEO of Nike.
'John Donahoe, Nike, stop exploiting foreign labor,' they conclude.
'Serve your customers, not woke politicians.'
Will Hild, the executive director of Consumers' Research, a Washington DC-based 'dark money' firm, told The Washington Examiner on Tuesday that his group has a 91-year history of standing up for consumers, and that the ad campaign came about because they saw that 'increasingly, businesses were cozying up to woke politicians' as cover and distraction for failures in their own businesses.
Their advert attacking American Airlines accuses the company of shrinking legroom and demanding that passengers show ID to board flights, yet joining a campaign against Texas voting laws.
Texas, like Georgia, is currently attempting to usher in new rules that supporters say will make elections safer, while opponents say they will disenfranchise minorities by demanding voters present ID.
'America requires passengers to show ID to fly, but attacks Texas's popular voter ID law,' a voice-over is heard in a clip entitled The Worst.
'Why is CEO Doug Parker trying to appease the radical Left? To distract.'
In their third clip, named Busted, the company criticized Coca-Cola - which has its headquarters in Atlanta - for speaking out against Georgia's voting law.
'Coca-Cola is getting political,' the voice-over said.
'Attacking Georgia's popular voting laws. Why? To distract from years of dismal sales and terrible 2020 results.'
They said Coca-Cola was 'poisoning America's youth and worsening the obesity crisis.'
They also attacked the CEO, James Quincey.
'James Quincey, Coca-Cola, stop poisoning our children. Serve your customers, not woke politicians.'
Hild said that the ads will run on cable channels.
And he said the campaign, which is costing more than $1 million, is just Consumers' Research's opening salvo in its battle against corporate activism.
'This is phase one. We're putting these three companies on notice that consumers have had it, and they need to focus on serving their consumers and not woke politicians,' he said.
'Phase two: this is certainly not a unique phenomenon, and we're going to put all corporate America on notice that this isn't going to work anymore.'
The companies have defended their actions, and Coca-Cola said that Consumers' Research is presenting an inaccurate picture.
Coca-Cola pointed out that they had 'taken steps to help people reduce the amount of sugar they consume', and denied using forced labor.
The company said it respects 'human rights everywhere' it operates and has 'strict policies prohibiting forced labor' in its business and with its suppliers.
'We respect everyone's right to raise their concerns and express their views, but we also believe the best way to make progress now is for us all to come together to listen, respectfully share concerns and collaborate on a path forward,' Coca-Cola told Fox Business in a statement.
'We remain open to productive conversations with groups who may have differing views.'
American Airlines defended their stance against the new voter laws, particularly in Texas, and referenced an April 1 statement.
'As a Texas-based business, we must stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote,' American Airlines said.
'Voting is the hallmark of our democracy, and is the foundation of our great country.'
Nike has not commented on the adverts.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.