Plastic Straws and Sleeping Giants Show Consumers Still Have Some Power


New Orleans      The evidence is incontestable that plastic straws are a significant part of the pollution killing aquatic and plant life in the world’s oceans.  It is equally undoubtable that many major brands because of automated programming on social media are clueless where their ads are displayed, including on some websites that are knocking on the door of pure evil, like the Breitbart properties.  It’s good news that there is progress on both of these fronts thanks to environmental groups on one hand and a previously anonymous group of volunteers called Sleeping Giants on the other.

McDonald’s is now phasing out plastic straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  Burger King’s corporate owner has taken a further step and committed to making all of its UK packaging recyclable over by 2025.  Starbucks and Hyatt Hotels have both indicated that they are phasing out plastic straws.  Many outlets are saying they are switching to paper straws, which as some have pointed out, were what was replaced by plastic straws.

Fair Grinds Coffeehouses, a primary supporter of ACORN and owned by ACORN Global Enterprises, several weeks ago discontinued plastic straws.  Rather than replace with paper straws, which were almost unavailable at this time, Fair Grinds posted a notice at its stores outlining the environmental problem and indicating that straws of any kind would only be available upon request.  People get it.  We have gotten no complaints, and virtually no one has asked for a straw excepted for young children.  I mean really, do any of us actually need a straw in order to successfully drink something?

Sleeping Giants was anonymous until recently, but it was wildly successful in putting a needle in the Brietbart money balloon.  Many advertisers claimed they had no idea where their ads were running, though it’s hard to believe some of the claims.  ACORN during our campaign against predatory loans had to dump Google Ads from our sites, because every story and blog about the campaign had ads running from the targets along the borders of the story.  Brietbart was finally punked by the Giants.  According to the New York Times,

The site had about 649 advertisers on its website last month, showing around 1,902 different display ads, according to data from Moat Pro, a digital ad intelligence product. That was down from 3,300 advertisers and 11,500 display ads in November 2016. (Sleeping Giants’ count of departed advertisers is closer to 4,000.)

As the Giants expanded they were also key in putting the pressure on Bill O’Reilly and other Fox fabulists that led to enough advertisers bailing that it forced the hand of the network and led to their separations.

The conservative news source, Daily Caller, managed to finally unmask the Giants themselves, who turned out to be …

Matt Rivitz, a freelance copywriter in San Francisco who has worked with a range of advertisers, was identified as the account’s creator against his wishes…. Rivitz, 45, confirmed the report on Twitter, where Sleeping Giants has more than 160,000 followers. He runs the account with Nandini Jammi, 29, a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant, along with other still anonymous contributors.

Too bad they couldn’t stay on the down-low, but regardless, big heaping thanks to Matt and Nandini.  You did right.  Keep up the good work!