What’s Costco Promoting?

Dear Costco:
I like your stores. I like your merchandise. I especially like your chocolate dipped ice cream bars coated with almonds available at the fast food counter for an incredibly cheap $1.50.

But can’t you be content with my money? Do you want my political soul and vote, too? Do you have to serve politics along with your 25 pound sacks of flour and giant bags of chips?

Evidently so. Costco has contributed to Democrats in the past few elections. By the way, how’s that working out for you? Is the economy where you want it? Didn’t think so.

Anyhow, each issue of the “magazine” sent to Costco members includes a section called “Informed Debate.” You pretend to be fair about an issue and do have both sides represented. For instance, this month’s topic is “Do the benefits of superPacs outweigh the criticisms?”

There are advocates from each side and customers who share their views. There are links to places on the web to find out more. For this topic the editors suggest www.localvictory.com, www.fas.org (search superPacs) and www.wikipedia.org. I don’t know about the first two, but wikipedia? It skews liberal.

In the past there have been topics such as global warming; whether juries for high profile criminal trials be anonymous; and do the benefits of fracking outweigh the risks.

But do you really have to go there? To paraphrase our president when he was campaigning: “Can’t I just buy my waffles?” Why would you want to bring this up? Is your purpose to promote goods or promote views?

If I want to think about issues I will do so on my own. I don’t need you to frame the issue for me.

Get back to selling things, not ideas. You’re in dangerous territory with the latter.

... Leave a Reply