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Unfortunately in today's society and use of social media, what we say will be publicized and can be easily mistaken for something out of context for anybody to see. This was the case for New Balance as one of the upper management staffing went on to state a "move in the right direction" about Trump. New Balance has received backlash with customers who purchased their product with pictures of their shoes in the garbage taking knives and cutting them up or lighting them on fire. New Balance is not a publicly traded company, so finding their records of sales and stock decrease is irrelevant. This for the most part is a good thing for New Balance, as people can't see how the comments made in support of Trump has effected the companies' financials. While actual dollar amounts are hard to come by, New Balance did rise in social conversation by 100%. That was New Balance's highest conversation-generating event of the year. Although, it was negative conversation New Balance brand sentiment declined by 75%. Finally just a week after the comments New Balance's sales decreased by 25%! After the company struggled for a week or two they started to gradually increase and get back on track. New Balance's actions will be analyzed using the four ethical theories.
Individualism's main focus is making profits within the law. Friedman's theory shows that the only obligation that the business person has is too maximize the profits for the owner's as well as the stockholders. Individualism states that a person has the right to pursue his/her interest, and should do so, while no one has the right to make other people's pursuit about them. New Balance was about profits, the statement given was meant for the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. This would allow for free trade zone in the U.S., Latin America, and other nations. New Balance's biggest competitor Nike even supported the deal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This being their interest to pursue, and about profits it makes sense that New Balance did not in fact do anything wrong and wasn't being racist by the comment supporting Trump. In fact New Balance's support with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, was focused on American manufacturing job creation and have continuous support for them.
Utilitarianism is to maximize happiness in yourself as well as others. John Stuart Mill's
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Immanuel Kant centered the focus of Kantianism based on the rational decisions and doing what is right. Kant states to not act inconsistently in your own actions or exempt yourself from the rules. Kant's last part to his theory is to be motivated by good will, which is seeking to do what is right, strictly because it is the right thing to do. New Balance didn't think about the rational decision of speaking out on politics and considered themselves exempt from the rules or any consequences that might occur from the statement. New Balance didn't respect their supporters/followers by not informing the company was going to release a statement or elaborate on the statement to make it clear and understood. Kantianism theory is to no lie or cheat in anyway, and the white supremacist group called out New Balance that they indeed were lying. New Balance cleared the air, by saying the statement was about the Trans-Pacific Partnership not support of Donald Trump. Also, releasing a statement they don't support bigotry or hate directed towards the white supremacist group. They considered themselves exempt from the rules, but seems to make amends with some of their supporters/followers.
Virtue Theory is based on the ideas of rationality, and fulfilling a functional life. Aristotle reasoning to fulfill a functional life is to look at a person individually, and find the characteristic that distinguishes them. To be happy Aristotle believes one must fulfill their function, but act rational in the process. New Balance's VP of Public Affairs would not be considered virtue or ethical because they showed poor character traits such as racism through verbal actions. According to Heather Salazar the most important characteristics are courage, temperance, honesty, and justice. The lack of temperance was by not having a complete direct answer to the actual support of the statement. Honesty and justice they claimed to not be apart of the white supremacist group after they were affiliated with them. This caused anger by the group in a good way for New Balance that they were being honest.
I'm sure that the company wants to be justified for their response that was said in regards to
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Bain, Marc. "Pro-Trump White Supremacists Have Called New Balance Sneakers “the Official Shoes of White People”." Quartz. Quartz, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
LeMoult, Craig. "New Balance On Damage Control After Trump Statement 'Taken Out Of Context'." NPR. NPR, 19 Nov. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Maheshwari, Sapna. "Statement on Trump Puts New Balance Shoe Company in Cross Hairs." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.
Manning, Charles. "White Supremacist Website Names New Balance the "Official Shoe of White People"." Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan, 09 Jan. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Mettler, Katie. "People Are Burning New Balance Shoes after Company Supported Trump." The Bangor Daily News. The Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.
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Preza, Elizabeth. "Neo-Nazis Throw a Tantrum after New Balance Denies Being the 'official Shoes of White People'." Raw Story. N.p., 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.
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Variant. "Nike Endorsements - Athletes Endorsed by Nike." Nike Endorsements - Athletes Endorsed by Nike. Athlete Promotions, 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.