Publix to evaluate donation process after Adam Putnam political backlash

The Florida supermarket giant says in its most recent statements to employees and the media that it regrets that the donations have caused "unintentional customer divide."
Published May 23, 2018

Amid a growing backlash for its sizable donation to pro-NRA gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, Publix has said it will evaluate its processes for giving to ensure it better reflects the chain's "intended desire."

In its most recent statements to associates and the media, Publix says it regrets the donation has caused "unintentional customer divide instead of (a) desire to support a growing economy in Florida."

Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg on Wednesday added to the fervor of the Publix boycott by announcing plans to stage a "die in" at his city's two grocery stores on Friday.

Via Twitter on Wednesday, he said protesters will lie down in the aisles for 12 minutes beginning at 4 p.m.

Hogg, like others protesting the Lakeland-based chain, are frustrated Publix leaders donated $670,000 to Putnam's campaign.

"Feel free to die in with us at as many other @Publix as possible," he tweeted.

Putnam has called himself a "proud NRA sellout" and opposed stricter state gun laws passed following the 17 Parkland shooting deaths.

In previous statements, Publix has said it supports Putnam for his "pro-business values" and has never given money to the National Rifle Association.

Still, some shoppers have pledged to boycott the popular chain until it denounces Putnam and the money it has given him.

Some small state political groups have asked shoppers to "#BoycottPublix" this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Others have taken to posting receipts from other grocery stores to social media to show the store the money it's losing.

In its latest statement, Publix said it has a "history of supporting candidates focused on job growth and a healthy Florida economy."

Florida's Chamber of Commerce, the state's largest business group, has also pledged support to Putnam's run for governor over Rep. Ron DeSantis and the Democratic field.

By Wednesday, "#BoycottPublix" was continuing to gain traction on social media as both ends of debate argued over support for Putnam and Publix's donation.

READ: Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues support of Adam Putnam for governor

READ: Publix is supporting Adam Putnam's run for governor like no politician before