Shark Tank Stars Have Vastly Different Views Over Businesses Going Woke

Shark Tank Stars Have Vastly Different Views Over Businesses Going Woke

( – Big corporations have been competing to see who can be the most woke in an attempt to boost their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores. Their customers haven’t always been too impressed, as anyone who’s been following the fortunes of Bud Light — which used to be America’s favorite beer, but isn’t anymore — will know. Now, two Shark Tank stars have jumped into the debate, on opposite sides.

On June 11, Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told reporters that adopting left-wing politics is good for a company. He said, “There is a reason” the biggest US corporations “can be considered woke. It’s good business.” That might be news to Anheuser Busch, which has seen sales of its flagship Bud Light brand collapse since it partnered with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney in April. Before the scandal erupted, around 10% of all the beer sold in the US was Bud Light. Now it’s down to 7.3%, well behind new leader Modelo Especial. Retailer Target is also in the firing line after featuring Pride-themed, trans-friendly swimsuits critics said were aimed at children; a conservative boycott wiped $10 billion off its value.

Cuban might have missed what happened to America’s formerly favorite beer, but fellow Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary hasn’t. Responding to Cuban’s comments, he pointed out that businesses “have customers of every kind. Republicans, Democrats, gender-specific or gender-neutral.” He said that taking a political position instantly alienates 50% of the potential customer base and asked, “Why would you do that?” According to O’Leary, the role of American businesses is to sell things to customers, look after their employees and make a profit for their shareholders, not “to educate society on the social issue of the day.”

Marketing strategist Emma Ferrara is with O’Leary on this one. She recently told Fox News — which is also skating on thin ice with its once-loyal viewers — that, before jumping into social issues, companies need to research what new target audiences, for example, trans people, actually want; and, more importantly, they need to understand what their current customers think, too. In the rush to go woke, businesses haven’t been doing that. Whatever Cuban says, it isn’t working out well for them.

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