According to an internal letter obtained by Popular Information, a top public relations firm, Zeno, is advising companies to stay out of the abortion issue as the leaked majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade has garnered public outcry from abortion activists.
Zeno, who has a roster of high-profile clients including Netflix, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Salesforce, Pizza Hut, AT&T, and Hershey’s, stated in their internal communication that their clients should stay quiet on the abortion issue:
“Do not take a stance you cannot reverse, especially when the decision is not final. This topic is a textbook “50/50” issue. Subjects that divide the country can sometimes be no-win situations for companies because regardless of what they do they will alienate at least 15 to 30 percent of their stakeholders… Do not assume that all of your employees, customers, or investors share your view.”
As media routinely reach out to major corporations to comment on charged social issues, the internal communication advised its clients to avoid making comments:
“Avoid media “fishing.” Often during controversy, media will make general inquiries to multiple peer organizations, in which the first one to “raise its hand” becomes the lead. In a case like this, being at the center is not advisable so be judicious if/how general inquiries are managed.”
Additionally, Zeno advised avoiding breaking news publications stating “Steer clear of breaking news networks/outlets. We anticipate the story will dominate newsfeeds for the rest of the week as more details unfold, so avoid pitching reporters and outlets that focus on breaking news.”
Lastly, the advice encouraged companies to “not engage with direct questions about your company’s position. Whether in direct messages or public-facing posts, do not respond to questions about where your company stands on this issue.”
The public relations firm’s advice represents a shift in attitudes toward social issues as many corporations in the past have spoken out on a host of pressing political questions including the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change, voting rights, and even abortion in the past.
However, after repeated pushback from conservatives on businesses who speak out on political issues, it seems like some are beginning to reconsider.
This shift in public relations comes after Governor Ron DeSantis took action against Disney by taking away their tax incentives in the state of Florida after the company opposed the Parental Rights in Education law and was exposed inserting LGBTQ+ narratives into kids’ content.
As conservatives across the country fight back against woke corporations, it appears that some are beginning to take notice and stay neutral on the pressing political topics of the day.