Which Stores Recognize Christmas in Their Advertising—And Who’s the Scrooge?
TUPELO, Miss.—As the 2015 Christmas shopping season launches into full swing, American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) is releasing its annual “Naughty or Nice” list of retailers to help shoppers know which are Christmas-friendly.
“There are secular forces in our country that hate Christmas because the word itself is a reminder of Jesus Christ,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “They want to eradicate anything that reminds Americans of Christianity. That is why it is important to remind governments and companies to keep the word Christmas alive. AFA wants to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America.”
For the annual list, AFA reviewed 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, has references to items associated with Christmas, such as trees, wreaths, lights, etc., it was considered as an attempt to reach Christmas shoppers.
For the 2015 list, six companies earned AFA’s highest “Five-Star” rating by promoting and celebrating Christmas on an exceptional basis: Cracker Barrel, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s, Michael’s Stores, Wal-Mart and the AFA Online Store.
“Nice” retailers use the term “Christmas” on a regular basis and are considered “Christmas-friendly.” The “Nice” list includes 47 retailers, from Amazon.com to Zappos.com—and everything in between, such as Bass Pro Shops, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillard’s, Hallmark, Home Depot, J. C. Penney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshall’s, Pier One Imports, ProFlowers.com, Sam’s Club, Sears, Target, TJ Maxx and Toys R Us, among others.
Thirteen retailers this year made the “Marginal” list, meaning these companies refer to Christmas infrequently or only in select advertising mediums.
The 12 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: Barnes & Noble, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, The Limited, Maurice’s, Office Depot, Office Max, PetSmart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu and Victoria’s Secret.
This year, AFA is encouraging visitors to the site to take action and contact the retailers on the “Naughty” list. By clicking on any name on the list, consumers can touch base with these retailers via social media, email or the company web site.
“This battle has very nearly been won,” Wildmon added. “Let’s politely remind the handful of companies on the ‘Naughty’ list that there’s nothing wrong with the word ‘Christmas.’ Maybe next year we can retire the Naughty or Nice list altogether.”