SHowing Animals Respect and KindnessSHARK
Letter to Shareholders of the Campbell Soup Company
We believe there are a number of issues you should consider regarding Campbell's sponsorship of rodeos. First, Campbell's has plenty of competition. This is becoming more obvious each year. This is enough of a challenge without Campbell's having to also overcome a public relations nightmare. Campbell's reputation is an important factor in maintaining a substantial market share, and this reputation should be protected at all costs.
Why then are Campbell's decision makers prepared to sacrifice Campbell's reputation in support of animal abuse? SHARK's documentation of rodeo cruelty spans over twelve years. SHARK's documentation has been used in regional news stories across the US, as well as by national and international networks. As a result of the video evidence and resulting negative publicity, the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) has lost numerous corporate sponsors, including Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper.
Already Campbell's spin doctors have manufactured numerous lies to placate its concerned customers. Additionally, the company has rejected customer pleas to stop support animal abuse. Perhaps the most outrageous misstep of Campbell's public relations department, however, is the one to which it has most stubbornly adhered – that of referring customer complaints about rodeos to the very people who are committing the abuses – the PRCA. Those people who follow Campbell's advice and call the PRCA receive treatment that ranges from more stonewalling to outright rudeness and even hang-ups.
If Campbell's public relations decision makers aren't on the payroll of the competition, they should be. This is a suicidal marketing plan. Many former customers will never return, especially as Campbell's stonewalling persists and the lies become more numerous and ridiculous. As the Campbell Soup campaign grows, so will attention to other Campbell products which we have already listed on this site. Exposure of Campbell's cruelty will also move abroad. Already humane organizations in other parts of the world are taking notice of the Campbell rodeo controversy.
For SHARK, it is not a matter of if Campbell's will stop supporting animal abuse, it's just a matter of when. SHARK will maintain its focus on Campbell's for as long as it takes. We are known for our persistence. SHARK's persistence was enough to convince Pepsi to drop its support of bullfighting in Spain, Mexico and other places where it is allowed. Coca-Cola wisely followed Pepsi's lead. Coke then chose to drop rodeos after SHARK presented its video evidence, as did Dr. Pepper. These developments came much to the chagrin of the PRCA. It had hoped Dr. Pepper would replace Coke as its soft drink sponsor. We are determined that Campbell's will ultimately make the same wise decision to drop its rodeo sponsorship.
When Campbell's finally does the right thing, we will move on to a new corporate target. Our campaign, therefore, remains essentially the same – it is just a matter of whether Campbell's reputation (and the worth of its stock) is being devalued, or if it is another company that is being exposed for its ethical bankruptcy.
For everyone concerned about the price of their Campbell Soup shares, this is well worth considering.
SHARK is a US registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity, which means your donation is tax deductible!
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