We often receive political complaints at Overstock . I am posting this so that in the future, when customer service agents get harangued by people angry about statements they believe are being made by our decision to advertise certain places or carry certain products or sell certain books, music, or magazines, those agents can just send a link to this post.
During the 2004 election, we created a book page with books by Hillary and Bill Clinton on one side, and two books by Dick Morris criticizing them on the other side. On the left, another book by James Carvel (as I recall). On the right, one by Ann Coulter. All images were of the same size, and there were an equal number of them on each side.
We were inundated with complaints from the Left and the Right about featuring books from the other side. Go figure.
We hear from from Family Values folks about the movies and music we sell (even though we actually are quite conservative, selling, for example, Playboy, but not the steamy stuff).
When we advertised on AirAmerica, we got flack for it.
A few weeks ago we heard from the Ron Paul folks protesting our advertising on Fox, given his exclusion from a debate they covered. I wrote a letter to our customers about it, saying that while I happen to support Paul personally, I was not going to change our TV advertising to punish Fox. Then we heard from people angry that I had mentioned that I personally support Ron Paul.
Last week we heard from the Family Values folks protesting the TV shows on which we advertise.
This week we are hearing about the Hillary Clinton Nutcracker on our site.
I respectfully suggest that people should remember, Different strokes for different folks. It is not up to us to make statements with what products we do or do not carry or where we advertise them. Playboy is often our fastest selling magazine. The Hillary gadget was briefly one of our fastest selling items. We have about 1 million products, and I’m not going to police American tastes, beyond not selling hardcore or kiddie porn (like some other etailers), and firearms and ammunition and such.
There was one exception: when Rush made fun of Michael J. Fox, we yanked our advertising.
This is going to be a long and exciting campaign. I don’t recall anything like it since 1980. I hope the citizenry gets through it as friends.