Thursday, 21 October 2010

Welcome to the Boycott Big Business Society Blog.

This blog is for those of us who do not want to be told what to do by Big Buisiness and who think Big Business should keep it's nose out of our affairs.

This week the following people issued a statement (copy to follow) supporting the British Government's plans to institute widespread cuts in public services and state benefits.

Will Adderley, CEO, Dunelm Group
Robert Bensoussan, Chairman, L.K. Bennett
Andy Bond, Chairman, Asda
Ian Cheshire, Chief Executive, Kingfisher
Gerald Corbett, Chairman, SSL International,, Britvic
Peter Cullum, Executive Chairman, Towergate
Tej Dhillon, Chairman and CEO, Dhillon Group
Philip Dilley, Chairman, Arup
Charles Dunstone, Chairman, Carphone Warehouse Group, TalkTalk Telecom Group
Warren East, CEO, ARM Holdings
Gordon Frazer, Managing Director, Microsoft UK
Sir Christopher Gent, Non-Executive Chairman, GlaxoSmithKline
Ben Gordon, Chief Executive, Mothercare
Anthony Habgood, Chairman, Whitbread, Chairman, Reed Elsevier
Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive, Tullow Oil
Neil Johnson, Chairman, UMECO
Nick Leslau, Chairman, Prestbury Group
Ian Livingston, CEO, BT Group
Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO, MITIE Group
Rick Medlock, CFO, Inmarsat; Non-Executive Director, The Betting Group
John Nelson, Chairman, Hammerson
Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman, Alliance Boots
Nick Prest, Chairman, AVEVA
Nick Robertson, CEO, ASOS
Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman, Marks & Spencer
Tim Steiner, CEO, Ocado
Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO, Inmarsat
Michael Turner, Executive Chairman, Fuller, Smith and Turner
Moni Varma, Chairman, Veetee
Paul Walker, Chief Executive, Sage
Paul Walsh, Chief Executive, Diageo
Robert Walters, CEO, Robert Walters
Joseph Wan, Chief Executive, Harvey Nichols
Bob Wigley, Chairman, Expansys, Stonehaven Associates, Yell Group
Simon Wolfson, Chief Executive, Next

The reponse of this blog is to organise a boycott of these businesses so that they can feel the cuts they support.

This has been launched quickly. More details will come later


  1. Thanks for kick-starting this. Even if a small number of eyes come across it, it has been worth the effort.

    I'll do my bit by promising a boycott of the one company from the above list that we have until now been using on a regular basis - M&S. Considering Sir Stuart Rose's prominence during Tory Conference speeches, I feel this personal boycott is more than justified.

  2. Well done, I was just about to sign up for as well...and the thought that someone running a recruitment company (Robert Walters) would sign up to this decimation of the jobs market is beyond me, though I guess there'll be lots more candidates about. No more shopping in ASDA or M & S for me, and I won't be drinking London Pride anymore either.

  3. Never doubted that the will existed.Let the sound of silence ring out from the cash registers.

  4. Count me in - I'm going to avoid these companies for good.

    And I'm going to email the link to this page to everyone I know!

  5. It might be a good idea to post a list of the retailers these people represent. For example, Ian Cheshire, Chief Executive of Kingfisher, speaks on behalf of:

    Brico Dépôt

  6. ...and perhaps a future post might encourage comments from people outlining what/who/how they are boycotting (like my first post on this thread - signed anonymous).

    It's probably unrealistic to expect people to boycott every retailer every time, but knowing what others are doing/plan to do might spread ideas and help sustain the campaign.

  7. Relexive - Good idea.

    What I had thought of doing was going through the list one by one, posting information of each company, it's brands and products, a bit like you have done for Kingfisher (thanks) and suggesting alternative retailers. If someone needs some shelves it's of limited value saying 'Don't go to B&Q' whereas we can say go to 'XXXX' instead.

    This may take some time but I as long as we can hit the Christmas rush we can have an impact.

    Great to have everyone on board.

  8. Wow, this is really exciting. I agree that it would be helpful to have the retailers highlighted and listed (perhaps before the names of the CEOs ect), so people can see immediately who they should be avoiding. My mate has already linked her facebook page to this blog! Spread the word!! I think in a world where our vote counts for nothing, the only power we have is our spending power as consumers. It is the only value we have to those up on high and the only way we can make our voices heard. (BTW, I think it is a great idea to list alternative retailers).

  9. Added on stumbleupon too, so hopefully a wider audience awaits...

  10. After you have boycotted this odious bunch it's worth giving a thought about where to take your custom. Can I suggest your local co-op. The original co-ops were set up to stop working people being screwed over by greedy retailers. The Co-op shops give a fair share of the profits back to their customers. If you're a bit more upmarket, the John Lewis Partnership (which includes Waitrose) is a form of workers co-operative in which all staff get a share of the profits and a voice in how the business is run. So there is an alternative - use it and help it grow. And while you are at it, close your current account with the high street robbers and go to one of the remaining mutual building societies or the Co-op Bank.

  11. I've put it on my Facebook as well. A full list of the retailers would be helpful. Its going to be hard to avoid Deogeo but I'll try!

  12. My only comment (and I agree with the principle by the way) is that you should avoid making it too party political.

    There are a number of people from all sides who disagree with George Osborne, but reffering to him as Gideon (I know it's his name, but it's becomes a slang slur these days) and schoolboy references to the 'Torygraph' when they've been consistent critics of the coalition slightly undermine your position.

    If you try to remain factual and avoid the rhetoric then you will get more people on board. Keep it witty, buy avoid the tribalist nonsense. That's my advice anyway.

  13. ViewFromTheBoundary22 Oct 2010, 04:58:00

    I'd like to strongly second the 17:48 Anonymous comment: "Remain factual, avoid rhetoric, keep it witty, avoid the tribalist nonsense"
    It helps let off a little steam to call them names, but isn't it far more satisfying to hurt them...

  14. ViewFromTheBoundary22 Oct 2010, 05:22:00

    Cross-posted from the Guardian '"unexpected" retail sales fall' article that gave rise to this blog:

    Lots of old friends in the Feb 2009 Guardian series on the tax gap (the difference between actual and "the theoretical tax liability if all taxpayers complied with the letter and the spirit of the law").

    Over two weeks, they looked at the worst offenders, the companies that are taking the biggest amounts of money out of the British tax system: (GlaxoSmithKline)
    and so on, and so on ....

    What we need asap is a list of the brands that these businesses represent. I'd pause (remove) the Boycott Poll until we have a good and comprehensive list, repost it then with an end date of mid November. Mid November means that if we can get the results covered/ mentioned/ tweeted/ etc, it's still in time to damage their christmas sales.

  15. If anyone can help put together a list of brands that would make this process quicker.

    At the moment I'm going through the businesses one by one and finding out a bit about the people, though this is never going to be too personal, no personal addresses, phone numbers and stuff, just enough to give a pen picture. It's the berands and trading names that are important though.

    This is taking time as life doesn't stop, so any assistance would be gratefully received.

    The poll was just to give me an idea of which companies people were thinking about. I can change it round any time. I pick NEXT for tonight's blog post as they currently top the poll though Simon Wolfson turned out to be very interesting.

    As to 'remain factual' advice - absolutely. This is about getting the companies to retract their support for the cuts by hurting their bottom line, it is not in support of any particular political party. I am not a member of any party and have links with The Independent Network.

  16. I've started building a list of brand names for the boycott. I know it is currently incomplete but this will build as I delve into each company.

    Please let me know of other brands thast should be added, Diageo in particular have a lot of familar brands.

    Thanks again to everyone for your support and suggestions.

  17. I've had an idea. Is there anyone who could work out what these 35 people are worth ? What I mean is could they get the deficit back to where it was in 2007 by having a whip round amongst themselves, or if their companies were all incorporated in Britain instead of in some offshore tax haven.