RadioShack faces boycott after dropping 'Christmas'

The American Family Association is asking shoppers to avoid the chain because the holiday isn't mentioned in advertising.

By InvestorPlace Dec 5, 2013 2:47PM

People walk past a RadioShack store in Manhattan on July 26, 2012 in New York City (© Mario Tama/Getty Images)By Christopher Freeburn

A conservative group is asking consumers to avoid an electronics chain this holiday season because of an omission in its advertising.

According to the American Family Association, RadioShack (RSH) has dropped the word "Christmas" from its TV and newspaper ads, as well as in-store and online promotional materials. Instead, RadioShack is promoting "holiday" sales and deals.

The association criticizes RadioShack for “censoring the word Christmas” even as it tries to draw in people shopping for Christmas gifts. The group is calling on its members to boycott the retailer for one month and to contact RadioShack’s corporate offices to complain about the absence of Christmas in company promotions.

It is also compiling an online pledge, asking consumers to add their name to the petition. The association promises to inform RadioShack of the number of people who have signed the pledge.

Originally founded in 1977 as the National Federation for Decency, the AFA has called for boycotts against a wide number of major companies over the years. In 2006, it urged a boycott against Ford (F) for advertising in gay-oriented magazines. Last year, it called for a boycott against apparel retailer The Gap (GPS) as well as its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands for removing the word Christmas from holiday advertising. Its stance against gay rights has led the Southern Poverty Law Center to brand the AFA as a “hate group.”

RadioShack has struggled to stem losses this year, hiring a new CEO to turn around the business. The company posted an annual loss last year and is facing rising competition from big box competitors like Wal-Mart (WMT) and Best Buy (BBY).

Last year, another conservative group boycotted Groupon (GRPN) after it offered discount coupons for tours of a pornographic movie studio's San Francisco sets.

Shares of RadioShack were flat Thursday at $2.96 in midday trading.

More From InvestorPlace

Dec 5, 2013 3:25PM
A lot of people need to grow some balls.  Everyone is so worried in the USA to be "politically correct" and not offend someone.  Go to one of their foreign countries & they don't want to know anything about the USA & its customs & if you speak out you will find yourself in prison or stoned.  SO BAH HUMBUG,,,,MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND LOOK IN YOUR STOCKINGS FOR A PAIR OF SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dec 5, 2013 3:51PM
Dec 5, 2013 4:13PM
Dec 5, 2013 3:45PM
If someone doesn't want to to use the word "Christmas" in their advertising, so be it - that's their option. BUT...if they are not going to specifically say "Christmas" in their ads, then do the right thing and remove the sights and sounds of Christmas from their ads. No Christmas tunes in the background, no Christmas Trees, no images of Santa Claus, no garland and wreaths, etc. If they want to use the terms, "Winter Event", "Holiday Sale", "December To Remember", "Year End Event" or some other equally meaningless terms, go ahead - but use images of snow and ice to push your products. Advertisers shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Dec 5, 2013 4:01PM
The true spirit of Christmas is largely gone anyway. It's now a "Merry Consumeristmas and a Fiscal New Year!"
Dec 5, 2013 2:59PM
boycott them always. they treat their employees like crap. especially managers.  they have a bully the customer into buying crap they don't need policy.
Dec 5, 2013 3:51PM

So this conservative group wants Radio Shack to commercialize Christmas even more??? Christians should be offended by the commercialization of Christmas!!! 

Dec 5, 2013 4:10PM
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others." Matthew 6:5

Shouldn't your faith be focused between you and God and not God and Radio Shack?
Dec 5, 2013 3:23PM
who buys anything from radio shack ? all their s..t is seriously overpriced. you can find most of what they sell at the large retailers now, and as the previous comment states they treat the kids that work there like crap.
Not sure why they are still in business. Most of their items are overpriced.
Dec 5, 2013 3:17PM
Let's not pretend.  Does it really make a difference?  The store is also irrelevant.
Dec 5, 2013 3:49PM
I at one time liked radio shack, I have not shopped their in about 10 years, their prices are to high and their products are cheaply made. I go to  best buy.....
Dec 5, 2013 4:48PM

Ok, this is the way I see it.

I am not really religious in the normal sense.  I do however enjoy spending time with friends and family over the holidays, which includes celebrating Christmas and Christmas Eve.

I do have to agree with several posters that lately the hysteria over the shopping season has gotten out of hand.

I think way too many people re forgetting the true meaning of family, or celebration in general.  Exchanging gifts is fine, but at a realistic level.

Camping out for hours to get a good deal on some TV or other item is not what Christmas should be about, or any other holiday celebrated during this time of year.

But still Merry Christmas or may you have a great holiday whatever you celebrate this time of year!!

Dec 5, 2013 3:57PM

Seriously? - we are asked to boycott a store because they don't advertise like everyone else?



 The reason for the season is Christ. When Christmas was made into a Holiday by Congress in 1870 it was the word Christmas that was used, not anything else.  Always has been and always will be.

"President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a legal holiday in 1870. The bill to make Christmas a holiday was introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Burton Chauncey Cook (Illinois).  It was approved and passed to the Senate on June 24, 1870. When both houses had agreed on the wording (below) it was passed on to President Grant, who signed it on June 28, 1870. Here is the wording of that act of Congress: An Act making the first Day of January, the twenty-fifth Day of December, the fourth Day of July, and Thanksgiving Day, Holidays, within the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following days, to wit: The first day of January, commonly called New Year's day, the fourth day of July, the twenty-fifth day of December, commonly called Christmas Day, and any day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States as a day of public fast or thanksgiving, shall be holidays within the District of Columbia, and shall, for all purposes of presenting for payment or acceptance of the maturity and protest, and giving notice of the dishonor of bills of exchange, bank checks and promissory notes or other negotiable or commercial paper, be treated and considered as is the first day of the week,  commonly called Sunday, and all notes, drafts, checks, or other commercial or negotiable paper falling due or maturing on either of said holidays shall be deemed as having matured on the day previous. APPROVED, June 28, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant."  From the internet.

Dec 5, 2013 4:47PM
Dec 5, 2013 3:49PM
Its amazing how narrow minded people have become. Call it what you want, but christmas is just for retail sales. Who cares how its advertised. And if the AFA wants to play the religion game, just read the bible and it becomes clear that Jesus wasnt born anywhere near christmas. 
Dec 5, 2013 5:00PM
Oh how cute! The AFA wants us to boycott Radio Shack - that's SO Christian of them.  Especially since the only people it will hurt are the hourly employees, and they're already treated like dirt.  Fun fact: RS employees get minimum plus a very small commission.  And that commission is CUT during November and December, making it even more difficult to make a few extra dollars at the only time of year when they actually can.  The AFA should really mind their own business.  Better yet, they should just go away.
Dec 5, 2013 5:20PM

All this PC boycotting bullsh## needs to stop...If you don't like something; keep that to youself. Stop pushing your beliefs onto others.


Next time you see a soldier or anyone from the military serving our country, go shake his/her hand and THANK THEM for giving you POSes the right to cry and boycott  about anything that doesn't suite your needs..


The story is about the AFA "known hate group", you should be boycotting thier A$$e$..


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