“It is particularly interesting to see the advertising campaigns that target young people (…) taking on this woke agenda to increase their sales,” de Guingé said. “Capitalism is extremely flexible. Corporations use wokeism to sell products, but as soon as they go to China or Maghreb, they are quite different, as they adapt to the market.”
Referring to the case of sports retailer Decathlon, which announced that it would stop advertising on CNews channel because conservative voices on the network did not conform to the company’s so-called values, de Guingé said this stance is disingenuous, but represents a trend that has only increased in Western corporations over the last 10 years. She said she believes, however, that the company is not really woke, but that it is looking to better sell its product by embracing an ideology that is in-demand.
“I think that in the case of Decathlon, this is not really an example of militant wokeism. In capitalism, you have products and demand, and capital only answers to the market,” she said. “They absorb everything the young generations are interested in and go there.”
Corporations across the Western world have increasingly embraced a leftist perspective when it comes to social issues such as racism and LGBT rights, which has resulted in companies like Bank of America, Amazon, and Google donating tens of millions to controversial political organizations like Black Lives Matter. Entertainment companies like Netflix and Disney not only produce extremely left-wing content, but also embrace a company culture that can be described as “woke.” Disney executives, for example, were caught on video discussing how they want to ensure 50 percent of characters are LGBTQIA and racial minorities in future films and shows. Nike is another prominent example, promoting Black Lives Matter and social justice while being accused of paying “poverty wages” to workers in Asia to ensure high profit margins.
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De Guigné said she believes that much of the ideological transformation seen in the corporate world is influenced by what young people want.
“In the United States, the young generation of today is very woke, so those who want to sell to them are also woke. In Europe, they are also doing well by adapting to these codes,” she said. “But the same companies that push progressive moral lessons in the United States — such as Google – have demonstrated that they are willing to adapt (…) to Chinese censorship.”
She indicated the fact that these companies and organizations, ranging from the NBA to Facebook, abandon their “woke values” to better sell their product in foreign countries, meaning these companies only have a loose connection to them to begin with.
De Guigné has been a journalist for Le Figaro for 12 years, primarily covering the economy. She describes her work as “helping readers to better decrypt different opinions — mainly political ones — proposed to them and to attempt to bring rational analysis to otherwise very passionate debates.”