Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, a gun-control advocacy group, is launching a series of ads aimed at pressuring grocery store chain Kroger into banning guns in its stores, The Huffington Post is reporting.
The group, which receives financial backing from former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Everytown For Gun Safety, has spent “six figures” on the campaign, which will air ads in several newspapers, both in print and digitally, including USA Today, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and The Columbus Dispatch. It is also running the ads on a billboard in Cincinnati, where Kroger’s corporate headquarters are located.
The gun control group’s ads contrast shoppers engaging in mundane activities that are forbidden in Kroger stores, such as eating ice cream, bringing a skateboard, or going shirtless, against someone carrying a firearm. They ask viewers “One of them isn’t welcome at Kroger. Guess which one.” The group’s founder, Shannon Watts, explained the ads’ message in a statement.
“These images bring into stark contrast Kroger policies that prohibit skateboards, food and a lack of appropriate attire in stores, but allow the open carry of loaded gun. Businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and patrons.”
The ad campaign is being conducted along with a Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #GroceriesNotGuns, and according to Washington Post, Twitter users are encouraged to post pictures of receipts from other grocery stores, or pictures of their purchases at other grocery stores, along with the hashtag.
— Erin D in SC (@ErinDMomOf3) September 2, 2014
And as with all internet campaigns, there has been some predictable backlash on Twitter, as well.
— Jeff Allen (@Cozmacozmy) September 2, 2014
For its part, Kroger has been trying – and failing – to stay out of the gun-control debate, according to USA Today, by simply adhering to local gun laws.
“Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue, and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.”
Kroger is not the first company targeted by Moms Demand Action; they have also taken aim at Starbuck’s, Sonic, and Chipotle regarding the issue of guns in their stores.
Does Moms Demand Action’s gun control campaign make you less likely or more likely to shop at Kroger? Let us know what you think in the Comments.