10 Companies Everyone Loves... But Should Hate

Brian
August 6, 2013

coca-cola-logo

Some of the most beloved brands in America have skeletons in their closets that, for whatever reason, do little to sway popular public opinion. If you love the following 10 companies, consider the following reasons to reverse your mindset.

1.  Disney

Like all the companies on this list, a company as large as Disney is going to face its fair share of criticism, warranted or not. Allegations that its products were produced in Chinese sweatshops are perhaps the most glaring. Whether those working conditions are truly poor or not, at least relative to other Chinese factories, I do not know; however, I do know that countless Americans have missed employment opportunities by Disney’s decision to source manufacturing overseas in the first place. Plus, Disney supported SOPA.

2.  Apple

We love Apple’s gadgets, but the company is allegedly responsible for a slew of unethical business practices. Allegations include sweatshop labor, tax avoidance, environmental issues and baseless legal threats.

3.  Amazon

Do you love shopping at Amazon? Would you still shop there if you knew the company allegedly fired workers for having cancer? Yes, you probably would.

4. Microsoft

You can probably come up with a dozen reasons to hate Microsoft, but being the first to participate in the NSA’s PRISM program – and thereby undermining the trust and security of its users – cannot be ignored.

5.  Google

Yes, even the Almighty Google has been accused of dubious business practices, though they have thus far avoided any type of sweatshop allegations. The best reason to hate Google? Pure control. By being the world’s largest search engine, Google can control access to information, websites, advertising and customers with relative impunity – which is a dangerous landscape.

6.  General Motors

One word: bailout. The $49.5 billion bailout taxpayers gave to GM is an investment we’ll likely never recoup. But what’s worse than taking the bailout was the commercial GM released to “thank” taxpayers.

7.  Starbucks

Aside from the ridiculously expensive lattes, Starbucks has come under fire in the U.K. for alleged tax avoidance, having paid nothing in corporation tax since 2009. Don’t get me wrong – I think taxes are too high in the U.S., and they’re likely similar in the U.K.; however, when corporations do not pay tax, individuals get taxed more.

8.  Kraft Foods

Kraft uses potentially harmful dyes to color its macaroni and cheese – dyes that are banned in other countries, yet allowed by the USFDA. The company hides behind the facts that it offers organic versions of its product and that the FDA allows the dyes, but none of that matters if the company knows its flagship product is potentially harming millions of children. Change the recipe!

9.  Walmart

Walmart has been the target of criticism for poor wages and working conditions, including allegedly forcing employees to work off the clock, without overtime pay, and without adequate food and restroom breaks. Any company that doesn’t value its employees should be villainized in modern society.

10.  Coca-Cola

Love that ice cold Coke with your fries (yeah, don’t even get me started on McDonald’s)? Some allege the company bribed the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry with a $1 million donation to change its stance on the dental health effects of soft drink consumption for children. If this is true, both organizations should be shut down.

Do you look at your favorite brands a little bit different now, or is it all a small price to pay to get the goods? Let me know in the comments!

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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