When Controversies Hit, Wait-And-See No Longer Works, U.S. Companies Find

www.oann.com | 1/30/2019 | Staff
chrismpotts (Posted by) Level 3
NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Bank of America Corp held its annual meeting in April, activists insisted it stop financing private prison companies.

On Wednesday, Bank of America did exactly that, distancing itself from a sector that has triggered protests over its links to the Trump administration’s immigration policy and concerns about detention center conditions. Hector Vaca, one of the activists at the April annual meeting, declared victory.

SunTrust - Banks - Inc - Ties - Prisons

Next, he hopes to get SunTrust Banks Inc to cut ties with private prisons. SunTrust did not respond to a request for comment.

In the past, companies usually waited for controversies to lose steam and avoided taking a stance by declining to provide public comments, making changes slowly or not at all. Crisis communications experts say that companies are forced to act more quickly in today’s fast-paced news and social media environment.

Companies - Situations - Options - Crisis - Management

“It’s important to understand that companies in these situations have only bad options,” U.S.-based crisis management consultant Eric Dezenhall said, adding that “there is no playbook or everyone would use it.”

Also this week, several hundred people, including employees of Wayfair Inc , rallied in Boston to protest the online retailer’s alleged sale of furniture to a Texas detention facility housing migrant children. The spat was fueled when a letter to Wayfair leaders from employees about the sale spread on Twitter.

Wayfair - Sale - Donation - American - Red

Wayfair declined to comment on the alleged sale. But it promptly made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross to aid humanitarian relief at the border.

The rise in activism accompanies a surge in ESG investing, or investing based on environmental, social and governance factors. Morningstar estimates funds that invest according to non-economic guidelines managed $1.2 trillion at the end of last year.

Companies - Business - Tackle - Issues

It has prompted companies to disclose more about how, and with whom, they do business and tackle issues they might have tried to...
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