David Hogg, the prominent anti-gun student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, initiated a second boycott earlier this month after his first boycott — against Fox News host Laura Ingraham and her advertisers — went viral and was largely deemed a success.
But new evidence shows Hogg’s new boycott has largely failed.
What are the details?
Hogg announced on April 17 he was initiating a boycott of BlackRock Investment Group and The Vangaurd Group because, as he claimed, the financial companies are “two of the biggest investors in gun manufacturers.”
The tweets received only a fraction of the attention that his tweets initiating the Ingraham boycott received. And it’s apparent the minuscule attention has translated into no noticeable effects for BlackRock and Vanguard.
“No high-profile clients that I can think of left BlackRock as a result of it. It’s definitely not water-cooler talk,” a BlackRock employee told TheWrap.
Meanwhile at Vanguard, one employee told TheWrap the situation there “remains kind of the same as what it has been in previous months.”
As TheWrap noted, Vanguard has a separate investment fund for clients who want to “exclude gun manufacturers” from their investments. However, that fund has reportedly not seen an increase in clients.
Why has the boycott failed?
In many ways, Hogg’s second boycott was a long shot for Ingraham-size impact because mega-investment companies like Vanguard and BlackRock manage more than $5 trillion in assets and are much harder to influence than TV networks or controversy-averse advertisers.
In addition, while consumers can phone or email or tweet complaints directly to networks or their sponsors, they often have less direct access or influence over their investment funds — which are often dictated by their employers.
“Fox is a target with a built-in audience of ‘haters,’ people that have been yelling at the TV for years,” former Mediaite and Independent Journal Review managing editor Jon Nicosia told TheWrap. As the instantaneous response to the Ingraham tweet proved, added, “They mobilize quickly when there is a chance to take on Fox.”
In addition, the boycott has likely failed because it lacks the massive grassroots architecture of far-left groups like Media Matters, which brought Hogg’s Ingraham boycott to the mainstream.