Ben & Jerry’s was praised for releasing a corporate statement expressing outrage over the death of George Floyd. It has also promptly joined the “#StopHateForProfit” campaign, pausing advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S.
In its recent statement the company has called for “concrete steps” to dismantle “white supremacy in all its forms” arguing the death of George Floyd was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning.”
It is a remarkably strong, heart-felt statement from an Ice Cream brand, but Ben & Jerry’s, more than most, has earned the right to speak out and in doing so make an informed contribution. The articulation of “12 Ways You Can Help Eradicate White Supremacy” follows support for Black Lives Matter in 2016 which documented evidence of “systemic racism.” Brand expression and education on racism today is the extension of consistent support for disadvantaged minority groups. Alongside support for climate change and refugees the company has promoted “The Poor People’s Campaign” that revives the economic justice campaign originally launched by Martin Luther King. You might want to read Ben & Jerry’s Black Lives Matter material from 2016 and 2020 below:
What the brand champions today remains closely connected with the aims and actions of its founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Both remain active campaigners for social justice and retain a symbiotic relationship with the business despite selling it 20 years ago. The team managing the company today have successfully sustained an energetic commitment for social causes activism that goes much deeper than headlines and flavour naming. Unilever who bought the company 20 years ago have continued to empower the business.
When Ben & Jerry’s addresses an issue I hear the voice and values of a business team rather than that of a communication or campaign team. It resonates and influences more.
Consistency and commitment has earned credit and credibility.