A “woke-free” online marketplace is targeting conservatives amid calls for boycotts of Bud Light, The North Face and other brands over LGBTQ+ items sold for Pride Season.
Over the past several weeks, PublicSq., an online marketplace that promotes businesses with conservative values, called for supporters to use its website to find alternatives to companies that have been embracing transgender people and drag queens. The boycotts have caused some companies to walk back their support, and PublicSq. has seen 30 percent growth in recent weeks.
“After Bud Light announced what they were doing in this partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, we saw beer searches on our platform skyrocket over 800 percent, so we’ve had a very serious increase in direct searches for the alternatives to the brands that are currently conducting this what we really call displays of progressive activism,” Michael Seifert, founder and CEO of PublicSq., told Newsweek.
Many have called for boycotts of Target after claims that the company was selling “tuck friendly” bathing suits for children in their 2023 Pride Season collection. Seifert said that “since the Target debacle,” PublicSq. has seen “over 50,000 new consumer membership accounts created.”
The boycott of Bud Light was initially led by different conservative voices who disagreed with the brand’s decision to partner with Mulvaney. Musician Kid Rock was seen firing a gun at several cases of Bud Light and the boycott resulted in a decrease in sales and stock price.
Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris told shareholders: “This was the result of one can. It was not made for production or sale to general public. It was one post, not a formal campaign or advertisement,” following criticism.
Conservative voices also called for boycotts of Target for items related to its 2023 Pride Season collection. One of the collection’s designers was branded as a “satanist,” while others criticized the collection for items that were focused on children.
“‘People need to stop giving their money to businesses that hate them. We aren’t going to defeat woke corporations by whining on Twitter,” Trump Jr. told the Daily Mail while speaking about PublicSq.
In February, the company announced plans to go public following a special purpose acquisition by the Colombier Acquisition Corp.
Public Sq. has a vetting system for adding new companies to its marketplace, including a team of researchers looking into how companies align with their values.
“We have a lot of language in some of our different terms that speaks to our need for business to not highlight any certain specific gender ideology, as a part of their business’ displays, advertising, corporate donations, etc.,” Seifert said.
Seifert said that businesses that promote gender ideology to children as well as using affirmative action in hiring practices or while they attempt to reach consumers go against PublicSq.’s core values.
PublicSq. is still somewhat of a new business in the field of online marketplaces, but Seifert said he hopes to one day be a platform that rivals that of Amazon.
“And we do say as a marketplace that we are certainly pro-life, pro-family and pro-freedom,” Seifert said.
Additionally, as PublicSq. continues to urge supporters to use their platform instead of others like Target, Seifert said that he has seen a “spectrum” of new customers searching for companies that align with their values.
According to Seifert, some consumers have fully transitioned to using only PublicSq. for their shopping, while others have said, “I’ve started with a cup of coffee from a coffee shop that’s listed on this directory and that’s a great place for me to start and I’m excited to do this more.”
“There’s really a journey toward patriotic, pro-family values in the marketplace that for some people looks more expedited than others,” Seifert said. “But what I will say at PublicSq., we really try to celebrate any move toward the values that made our country special.”
Newsweek reached out to Bud Light and The North Face via email for comment.