How to Organize a Boycott

by eHow Culture & Society Editor
Some people believe that Joseph Swan from England invented the light bulb 10 years before Edison.

Some people believe that Joseph Swan from England invented the light bulb 10 years before Edison.

Nothing speaks louder than lost revenue, so an effective boycott can get a CEO's or board director's attention quickly. Vote with your dollars by refusing to buy products from companies that conduct business in ways you find unethical.

Identify whom or what you want to boycott. The beauty of a boycott is that you can have a major effect on a seemingly impenetrable multinational corporation by calling attention to how it conducts business. Keep the message simple yet emotionally appealing.

Research to death the product or group that you are interested in boycotting. Consider boycotting both the consumer and the seller. PETA, in its boycott of fur coats, intimidates the seller, the maker of fur coats, and the people who buy and wear them.

Warn the company early on of your plans to boycott. Sometimes just the threat of a boycott does the job.

Spread the word via word of mouth, e-mail and a Web site dedicated to the cause. Get a petition going (see 393 Organize a Petition).

Tips

  • Keep up the momentum. Sometimes a boycott takes years before it effects change. Don't give up.
  • Consult a lawyer about how to boycott effectively without risking a slander or libel lawsuit.

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