by Christopher Freeburn | December 5, 2013 10:08 am
A conservative group is asking consumers to avoid an electronics chain this holiday season because of an omission in its advertising.
According to the American Family Association (AFA), RadioShack (RSH) has dropped the word “Christmas” from its TV and newspaper ads, as well as in-store and online promotional materials. Instead, RadioShack is promoting “holiday” sales and deals.
The AFA criticizes RadioShack for “censoring the word Christmas” even as it tries to draw in people shopping for Christmas gifts. The group is calling on its members to boycott the retailer for one month and to contact RadioShack’s corporate offices to complain about the absence of Christmas in company promotions.
It is also compiling an online pledge, asking consumers to add their name to the petition. The AFA promises to inform RadioShack of the number of people who have signed the pledge.
Originally founded in 1977, as the National Federation for Decency, the AFA has called for boycotts against a wide number of major companies over the years. In 2006, it urged a boycott against Ford (F) for advertising in a gay-oriented magazines. Last year, it called for a boycott against apparel retailer Gap Inc. (GPS) as well as its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands for removing the word Christmas from holiday advertising. Its stance against gay rights has led the Southern Poverty Law Center to brand the AFA as a “hate group.”
RadioShack has struggled to stem losses this year, hiring a new CEO to turnaround the business. The company posted an annual loss last year and is facing rising competition from big box competitors like Walmart (WMT) and Best Buy (BBY).
Last year, another conservative group boycotted Groupon (GRPN) after it offered discount coupons for tours of a pornographic movie studio’s San Francisco sets.
Shares of RadioShack fell modestly in Thursday morning trading.
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