By Kevin Rogers, Arizona Farm Bureau President
Bank of America has a credit card program where entities can pay to have their logo on a Bank of America credit card ? they have hundreds of them. I took them to task for the program they have with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Their President responded back indicating the size of the commitment Bank of America has to agriculture generally and the livestock sector in particular.
But I was taken aback by one of his comments. He said these credit card relationships are business relationships and Bank of America does not take a position on the policies of any organizations in these relationships. Of course they don't, but that dodges the real question of whether they consider it in their relationships.
Of course Bank of America generically sells their services and does not check the pedigree of all who buy from them. However, selling services or products is a little different than taking one's brand and allying it in advertising (in this case on a credit card). Of course Bank of America is well aware of their branding and how they use it.
Would they have this relationship with the “KKK,” for example, or “al-Qaeda?” Well, of course not. Let’s go back a month or so at the height of the trials dealing with Penn State and the several-day debate over the sanctions on the university. Do you think Bank of America would be announcing a credit card relationship (as they have with other universities) with Penn State in the midst of all of this controversy ? well of course not! They are a successful business, always aware of their brand.
They missed my point or skipped over it. HSUS is an extremist lobbying organizations that has managed to wriggle their way into having the public believe they are a mainstream advocacy group ? that is part of their strategy. So when a mainstream bank, like Bank of America, accepts them in this manner they have been successful. The livestock sector knows full well that HSUS’ end game is to put them out of business. I am not going to set across the table and negotiate with a party that wants me out of business.
Bank of America can do business with whomever they choose. They can put their logo out there next to whomever they choose, but they are either not aware of all of the facts behind HSUS or they have done their homework and it does not matter to them.
Well, it does matter to us.