American Family Association Is ‘Gonna Find Out Who’s Naughty or Nice’
TUPELO, Miss.—They’re making a list and checking it twice. The American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) is “gonna find out who’s naughty or nice” with the 2018 “Naughty or Nice” list of retailers.
When it comes to getting into the Christmas spirit in advertising and marketing, AFA advises: “Be good, for goodness sake!”
For its 11th annual list, AFA reviewed the websites, media advertising and in-store signage for the nation’s top retailers to help shoppers know which companies embrace Christmas and which act like Scrooge and water it down into a generic holiday.
“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 both governments and corporations to keep the word Christmas alive. AFA wants to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America.
“This 11th year for the ‘Naughty or Nice’ list is significant because we can witness the progress of many retailers over the years,” he continued. “A decade ago, some stores routinely used the word ‘holiday’ to remain ‘politically correct.’ But we know that Americans want to hear greetings of ‘Merry Christmas!’ in their favorite stores. It’s been gratifying to see the list become a success and see that some stores have taken this message to heart.”
AFA reviewed up to five areas to determine if a company is “Christmas-friendly.” Print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store helped determine a retailer’s rating. If a company’s ad contains references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered an attempt to reach Christmas shoppers.
For the 2018 list, 51 “Nice” retailers use the term “Christmas” on a regular basis and are considered “Christmas-friendly.” The “Nice” list includes retailers from Ace Hardware to Zappos.com—and everything in between, from Big Lots, Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby to JCPenney, Michael’s and TJ Maxx.
Eight retailers this year made the “Marginal” list, meaning these companies refer to Christmas infrequently or only in select advertising mediums: Academy Sports + Outdoors (which moved up from the “Naughty” list last year), Amazon.com, CVS Pharmacy, Dollar General (also now off the “Naughty” list), Kohl’s, Safeway, Sears and Starbucks.
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: Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gap, Inc., The Limited, Maurice’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, Old Navy (demoted from last year’s “Marginal” list), PetSmart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu, UncommonGoods.com, Victoria’s Secret and Walgreens (also downgraded from “Marginal”).
Shoppers may notice that Target is not listed in any of the categories, because for more than a year and a half, AFA has been reminding families as they shop to #BoycottTarget altogether. Target’s restroom and fitting room policy puts women and children at risk, and company executives have done little to respond to the concerns of the 1.5 million who have signed AFA’s pledge. In fact, just before the Black Friday shopping season kicked off, Target stock prices dropped by double digits.
For those who want to urge Target to protect the safety of women and children this Christmas, AFA is suggesting three ways to take action:
- Sign the #BoycottTarget pledge. Encourage family and friends to sign the pledge, too, as boycott numbers exceed 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.
To interview an American Family Association representative, contact Deborah Hamilton, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, 610.584.1096, ext. 1024, or Jeff Tolson, ext. 108.