Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is

Mea culpa to my favorite high school teacher, Betty Barker, for my grammatical inconsistency in the title of this post. It just seemed so apropos given my topic. Normally the above phrase would read something like put your money where your mouth is. But not  for Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey who has apparently put his mouth where his money isn’t. Seems that Mackey has issues with Obamacare and  had the audacity to publish an op-ed to that effect in the Wall Street Journal. (Now, before we proceed, let me mention these tidbits. Whole Foods,  a Fortune 500 company, has a very good health care plan for its own employees. For those 89% of their work force who work more than 30 hrs/wk,  all of their health care premiums are paid.) Further he opined that many health problems are self-inflicted and could be  alleviated by  a better diet, etc. That  would tie in very well with his own company’s  organic  food  products, would it not?

Seems that Mackey has   alienated  a bit of his liberal base with many customers taking to the web to voice their displeasure. One comment  in particular  stood out to me. Christine Taylor, a New Jersey customer  of Whole Foods said her shopping days there were over. She told ABC News this. “I think a  CEO should take care that if he speaks about politics, that his beliefs  reflect at least the majority of his clients.” Now I could say something like, if you eat like a  liberal your should talk like a liberal . That might be  a bit out of line  since all people  who eat healthy are not liberals. Anyway, does Ms Taylor have a valid point? What if the CEO has views that do not dovetail with his/her clientile?  Should they just keep silent? Good question.

Some consultants say it is better if the  CEO keeps a lower profile because his comments  often become   a two -edged sword with pros and cons. The question from a business perspective would then be which edge, the  good or bad, will have more impact. Consultant Robert Passikoff is founder of Brand Keys, Inc., a New York based consulting firm. He advises clients to not  speak out on polarizing issues such as health care. And in Mackey’s case, it could have a greater effect than say the  CEO of Kellogg’s who hasa  larger and  broader based clientele. So says Lynn Upshaw of  Upshaw Brand Consulting in Kentfield ,CA She says that Mackey’s  customers tend to be more of the activist type who are already going out of their way to buy  a more expensive product.

I wanted to compare this situation with that of outspoken celebrities and their  politics and how it can affect them, but that

John Mackey, outspoken CEO (courtesy esquire.com)

John Mackey, outspoken CEO (courtesy esquire.com)

may be another day. There is just so much material there.


August 15, 2009 - Posted by | Culture, Shopping | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Talk about Putting Mouth Where Your Money Is, here is the advertisers that pulling out of Glenn Beck’s show! Now all the follower of Glenn Beck needs to come together shoulder to shoulder and boycott Geico, Progressive insurance, Sargento Cheese and Procter & Gamble. We need to write each company telling them that we will not buy their products.

    The advertisers pulling out of Beck’s show include Geico, which is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Progressive Insurance, Sargento Cheese, and Procter & Gamble.

    Zillionaire moonbat Warren Buffet was a prominent backer of the Obama campaign. The aptly named Progressive Insurance is owned by Peter Lewis, a George Soros wannabe and member of the elitist, ultra-left Shadow Party that is currently consolidating control of our country. (this is from Boycott the Boycotters which link is on

    Democrats in Congress to Obama: “We have a big problem”

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | August 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] (7) Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is […]

    Pingback by Here Goes Freedom of Speech (Conservatives, if the Radical Liberals want a fight we have to give it to them!) « Goodtimepolitics | August 15, 2009 | Reply

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