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Consumer group attacks 'woke' MLB and Ticketmaster in seven-figure ad buy

All-Star Game
FILE – Cardboard cutouts of fans in the otherwise empty seats face the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays in Atlanta, in this Thursday, July 30, 2020, file photo. Georgia’s new voting law _ which critics claim severely limits access to the ballot box, especially for people of color _ has prompted calls from as high as the White House to consider moving the midsummer classic out of Atlanta. The game is set for July 13 at Truist Park, the Braves’ 41,000-seat stadium in suburban Cobb County. (John Amis/AP)

Consumer group attacks ‘woke’ MLB and Ticketmaster in seven-figure ad buy

July 08, 02:04 PM July 08, 02:04 PM

Consumers’ Research has launched its second phase of a major campaign targeting corporations that it claims are putting politics ahead of customers.

The conservative consumer group, which launched its Consumers First Initiative in May targeting American Airlines, Nike, and Coca-Cola, now has its sights set on Major League Baseball and Ticketmaster. Its campaign against the two companies features a seven-figure ad buy that will run nationally and in the local markets where both businesses are headquartered.

The first ad attacks MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred over the league’s decision to move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of Republican-backed voting legislation. The ad, titled “Losing Record,” accuses Manfred of “parroting dishonest, partisan talking points” about the Georgia law.

“Why is he making baseball political anyway? Because of his terrible record — viewership way down, ticket prices way up,” the narrator says. The ad also accuses MLB of making “sketchy deals” in China and points out that some lawmakers want to end MLB’s antitrust immunity.

INVESTORS FRET AS CORPORATE ACTIVISM OVERTAKES SHAREHOLDER PRIORITIZATION

Democrats and liberal activist groups pushed hard for corporations to take a stand against the Georgia law, which changes some voting scheduling procedures, limits the number of absentee ballot drop box locations, and requires photo IDs in order to vote absentee by mail.

“MLB decided to play politics instead of ball, moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta and parroting dishonest and partisan talking points, resulting in millions of dollars lost for many hardworking Americans,” said Will Hild, the executive director of Consumers’ Research.

The other ad blasts ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment, which was one of the hundreds of businesses and people that signed on to a statement about voting rights, vowing “to oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.”

The ad accuses Ticketmaster of hurting consumers with various fees and points out that the company ended up paying a $10 million criminal fine to resolve charges that it hacked into the computer systems of a competitor.

“Ticketmaster’s parent company is going woke. They want you to forget about the ridiculous service and convenience fees they charge that nearly double ticket prices,” the narrator in the ad reads. “Ticketmaster got caught hacking their competitor to keep customers from getting lower prices.”

It also tears into Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino for laying off workers at the company “in droves” while earning millions of dollars himself. The ad additionally calls Ticketmaster one of the most-hated companies in the United States.

“Instead of cozying up to woke politicians on issues they do not understand, they should focus on serving customers better and competing in the market without committing felonies,” Hild said.

Hild had previously told the Washington Examiner that Consumers’ Research decided to embark on the ad blitz because his group has a 91-year history of standing up for consumers and that it saw that “increasingly, businesses were cozying up to woke politicians” as a cover and distraction for failures in their own companies.

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The Washington Examiner contacted MLB and Ticketmaster for comment about the latest spate of attack ads but didn’t immediately receive responses.

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