A new survey shows a deep disconnect between the American public and corporations regarding the push to promote social issues.
A business survey released by Brunswick Insights, first reported by Axios, showed that a majority of American consumers would prefer corporations to steer clear from politics.
According to the survey, 63% of corporate executives "agree unequivocally that companies should speak out on social issues" compared to only 36% of voters who want companies to do so.
"As the data show, the organizational impulse to weigh in on any and every social issue is disregarded by audiences, disconnected from what people want, and even diminishing to corporate reputation," Brunswick explains.
The study explains that companies fall into what Brunswick calls the "Talking Trap" which involves businesses speaking out on every topic because they believe they are supposed to or expected to.
"The Talking Trap does not imply insincerity on anyone’s part," the study says. "Ironically, the data show that the organizations and corporations leaning into social issues feel they are doing the right thing in the right way — particularly that they have to act right now. A majority of corporate executives (74%) think their communication on social issues is effective, compared to just 39% of voters. The effort may come from a place of earnest engagement, but it is not being perceived that way."
The data shows that more than 60% of voters believe "companies only speak out on social issues to look better to consumers and are not being sincere while 57% of executives believe that their companies "speak out on social issues because they want to achieve real change."
Brunswick conducted the survey by interviewing 301 U.S. corporate executives and 800 people who voted in the 2020 elections, from September 29 to October 7, 2021.
The report comes as corporations across the globe, including Nike, Coca-Cola, and American Express have been accused of going "woke" after speaking out on controversial issues like Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory, and forcing employees to undergo trainings based on the concept.