5 global boycotts that make absolutely no sense

If you think Stoli "vodka dumps" were off base, get a load of Glenn Beck's inane Levi's protest

Published August 4, 2013 1:30PM (EDT)

Glenn Beck                                        (Reuters/Chris Keane)
Glenn Beck (Reuters/Chris Keane)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post White Russian fans, beware: your favorite drink may be “infused with hate.” At least according to LGBT activists worldwide demanding a boycott of Russian vodka in response to new anti-gay laws in the European country.

From New York to London, activists in recent days have staged “Vodka dumps”, and the streets are running clear with Stoli.

But is the boycott really hitting Russia where it hurts? Stolichnaya, as Bloomberg Businessweek reported Wednesday, is in effect two different companies — and the one probably suffering the brunt of the boycott appears to be largely innocent.

This isn't the first time principled protest has picked the wrong target. Here are 8 of the most recent and strange boycotts of consumer goods.

1. This fryer runs on freedom.

Upon learning of France's refusal to join former President George W. Bush's proposed Iraq invasion, Near Cowland, the owner of Cubbie's restaurant in North Carolina, courageously took a stand. With the slap of a sticker Cowland injected freedom into his menu, with the names for french fries and french toast changed to “freedom fries” and “freedom toast.” This was not the first time in US history food had been at the center of a nationalisitc debate. During WWI, sauerkraut makers renamed their product “liberty cabbage.”

2. Keep your hands off our cheese!

Revolution is no stranger in the Middle East, but in Israel the revolution occurred on grocery store shelves. In 2010 the Israeli government removed price restrictions from cottage cheese. Within one year, prices had skyrocketed among the nation's three largest curd conglomerates, and Israelis demanded change. In a Facebook-led protest, Israeli netizens amassed over 100,000 signatures. Their actions led to reductions in price and limited government cheese oversight.

3. Shake what you got in them jeans, Mr. Beck.

Glenn Beck hasn't always been a fashion commenter, but after seeing a Levi's commercial, he voiced his opinion. The ad in question featured denim-clad young adults protesting while a narrator read Bukowski lines. This was too much for Beck, who branded the ad "glorified revolution." While his boycott was purely personal, it was one of the strangest in the recent history of pants. Then Beck started his own denim line. Coincidence, or counterrevoultion?

4. No pulp, please.

The Sunshine State has seen two protests aimed at its orange groves. The first OJ boycott came in 1977 after Anita Bryant campaigned to successfully repeal a Florida ordinance preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The second boycott is still in the works. Just last month at the NAACP national convention, Martin Luther King III suggested boycotting Florida orange juice in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

5. It's Mickey and Minnie, not Adam and Steve.

In 1997 leaders of the Southern Baptist Church voted to boycott Disney for its perceived "anti-family and anti-Christian directions." The boycott came after Disney's progressive step forward to extend health benefits to same-sex couples. Southern Baptist leaders ended the boycott in 2005, but are still keeping a close watch on Pluto.

By James Miller

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Boycotts Campaign Consumer Goods Globalpost Russia Vodka