Who’s the Scrooge This Year?

***NEWS RELEASE***

For Immediate Release November 22, 2016

CONTACT:
Jen Retallick, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716 or 610.584.1096, ext. 102

Who’s the Scrooge This Year?

American Family Association Releases Annual‘Naughty or Nice’ List and Urges Shoppers to #BoycottTarget This Christmas Season

TUPELO, Miss.—Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, and the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) has released its annual “Naughty or Nice” list of retailers to help shoppers know which are Christmas-friendly—and which are acting like Scrooge.

This year, AFA is especially urging shoppers to #BoycottTarget this Christmas, both in stores and online, after the retailer publicized its dangerous restroom and fitting room policy this spring.

“Each year, American Family Association makes every effort to ensure that Christmas isn’t repeatedly watered down, especially when it comes to choosing gifts for our loved ones,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “The word ‘Christmas’ is a reminder of Jesus Christ and his miraculous birth. For many, this is a hopeful reason for why we celebrate, but others want to eradicate anything that reminds them of the Savior. That’s why it’s crucial to continue to encourage governments, companies and retailers to keep the word ‘Christmas’ alive—and keep Christ in Christmas.

For the annual list, AFA reviews up to nine areas to determine if a company is “Christmas-friendly,” including print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), and website and/or personal visits to the store to help determine a retailer’s rating. If a company’s ads, for example, have references to items associated with Christmas, such as trees, wreaths, lights, etc., it was considered an attempt to reach Christmas shoppers.

For the 2016 list, six companies earned AFA’s highest “Five-Star” rating by promoting and celebrating Christmas on an exceptional basis: Cracker Barrel, Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s, Lowe’s, Michael’s Stores and Wal-Mart, along with the AFA Online Store.

“Nice” retailers use the term “Christmas” on a regular basis and are considered “Christmas-friendly.” The “Nice” list includes 44 retailers, from Ace Hardware to Zappos.com—and everything in between. Eight retailers this year made the “Marginal” list, meaning these companies refer to Christmas infrequently or only in select advertising mediums.

The 18 retailers on the “Naughty” list may use “Christmas” sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as companies, do not recognize it. These include: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gap, Inc., The Limited, Maurice’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, PetSmart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu, UncommonGoods.com and Victoria’s Secret.

During this year’s Christmas online and in-store shopping season, AFA is especially reminding Americans of its immensely successful #BoycottTarget initiative. Target’s policy puts women and children at risk, and company executives have done little to respond to the concerns of the nearly 1.5 million who have signed the pledge.

In a recent Action Alert to its more than one million friends and supporters, AFA is giving three convincing reasons not to shop at Target for Christmas this year.

  • Boycott efforts are impacting the company: Target’s policy is costing the retailer money, with decreased sales and traffic and lower stock prices. In addition, Target’s grocery sales have slumped to the point that experts are calling on the company to scrap the food division altogether.
  • Stay the course with AFA: Any company as large as Target can withstand a short-term loss of sales. That’s where Christmas shoppers come in. Target is banking on this Christmas season to turn around this trend for 2016.

“Let’s hold firm to our conviction that men have no place in women’s restrooms and dressing rooms and continue our pledge to boycott Target stores, especially through the Christmas shopping season,” Wildmon added. “With Target hoping you’ll do your Christmas shopping with them, send them the strongest possible message you can and let Target know, ‘Don’t count on me!’”

For those who want to urge Target to protect the safety of women and children, AFA is suggesting several ways to take action:

  • Get “I boycott TARGET” t-shirts or buttons online at www.afa-offers.net/boycott.
  • Sign the #BoycottTarget pledge. Encourage family and friends to sign the pledge, too, as boycott numbers climb to 1.5 million.
  • Voice your concerns on Target’s Facebook page.
  • Call Target to politely let its executives know you’ve signed the #BoycottTarget pledge—Guest Relations, (800) 440-0680, option 1, then 1 again.

Along with the Target boycott, AFA is encouraging visitors to the “Naughty or Nice” site to take action and contact the retailers on the “Naughty” list. By clicking any name on the list, consumers can touch base with these retailers via social media, email or the company web site.

And again this year, AFA is offering shoppers the “Keep Christ in Christmas” wristbands, which allow wearers to relay the true meaning of Christmas and share the sentiment with their friends and family.

For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net or follow AFA on Facebook or on Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.

###

To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact Jen Retallick, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton, 610-584-1096, ext. 102, 215.815.7716.

American Family Association (AFA,) a non-profit 501(c3) organization, was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon. Since then, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The original name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to American Family Association in 1988. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 160,000 subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.

Other divisions of AFA include American Family Radio, the AFA Foundation and OneNewsNow.com, an online news provider syndicated around the world. AFA maintains activist websites such as OneMillionMoms.com, which rallies Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their advertising from objectionable TV shows, and OneMillionDads.com, which equips men to fulfill their God-given role of leadership. AFA websites average over 6 million unique visitors and 30 million hits per year. AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.