A call to boycott the National Rifle Association became the top trend on Twitter as users of the global social platform demanded that a variety of companies sever their ties with the gun enthusiast group. The online furor comes a day after the NRA's leaders attacked the media and Democrats, claiming the fallout from last week's Florida high school massacre was being politicized.
One user, with almost a quarter of a million followers, tagged a slew of brands in his post, including NRA partners Hertz Corp. and LifeLock. "There are only 5 million NRA members but over 300 million of us! Businesses have a choice whose business they prefer," tweeted another.
Late Friday morning, LifeLock owner Symantec announced it would break off from the NRA. "Symantec has stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association," a Symantec spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The NRA has partnerships with dozens of businesses, ranging from car rentals to hotels, and even offers a branded credit card. First National Bank of Omaha, which backs the card, said it would not renew its contract. Enterprise Holdings, which operates Alamo and National car rentals as well, said it had ended its participation effective March 26. Wyndham Hotel Group announced it was "no longer affiliated with the NRA."
Still, many companies continue to have a relationship with the advocacy group, including SimpliSafe and Hotel Planner. MetLife declined to immediately comment on social media boycott calls, while other companies associated with the group didn't immediately return requests for comment. Hotel Planner, unmoved by the controversy, said it would stick by the NRA.
"Our company provides discounted rooms to several large associations, including the NRA," said Tim Hentschel, co-founder of HotelPlanner.com. "These associations greatly benefit our customers by buying discounted rooms from groups that might otherwise be charged a penalty by hotels for not using all of the rooms in their block."
-- Bloomberg News