Clients 'shielding white supremacy' rejected by US consultancy

17 August 2017 2 min. read

In a new move, Arizona-based consultancy Spectrum Experience will refuse accounts from clients unwilling to voice public support for racial equality. The communications firm is taking widespread disapproval in the business world of President Trump’s response to the Charlottesville violence a step further.

A consultancy with a specialist focus on governmental and political communications has announced its refusal to work with clients who don’t meet its racial equality standards. Spectrum Experience, a Tempe, Arizona-based professional services firm said actively promoting its progressive values outweighed a projected loss of business. 

The announcement comes in the wake of deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia that rocked the nation and generated global headlines. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old protesting a joint march of ‘alt-right’, neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan members, was killed after far-right extremist James Alex Fields Jr ploughed his car into the crowd on August 12. 

A politically charged aftermath has seen President Donald Trump come under fire for denouncing violence “on all sides”, rather than specifically condemning the far-right. The corporate response has been sharp. The leaders of 3M and Campbell’s Soup resigned from the President’s new business advisory councils, forcing them to disband. CEO of JPMorgan, Jamie Dixon, released a firm statement expressing his disapproval of Trump’s reaction. 

Clients 'shielding white supremacy' rejected by US consultancy

Amid such high-profile condemnation of the President, Spectrum Experience is not isolated in its pledge to disavow clients or companies it believes are “shielding white supremacy”. Senior strategist Serah Blain said all clients had been notified on the anti-racism policy and will be expected to pass a litmus test of voicing their support for racial equality if given the opportunity on traditional or social media. According to Blain, the consultancy expected to lose “two or three” clients out of 30.

In a company statement, the firm said, “Spectrum Experience is committed to operating a humanist firm that works only with those who share our values. This doesn’t mean that we have full agreement on every issue with every client, but it does mean that we will not help a client work against humanist principles. Shielding White supremacy is, without a doubt, an act that works against humanism…

“Because of this, Spectrum Experience will not work with clients who are unwilling to oppose White supremacy, or to publicly state that Black lives matter. We know that many of our clients have already been doing this for quite some time, but we also know that some of you have shied away from public discussions on racism.”