WATERCOOLER

Re­main­ing non­par­ti­san may seem like the safest busi­ness ap­proach, but some­times it makes sense to take sides

BC Business Magazine - - Contents -

Tak­ing a po­lit­i­cal stand can be a smart busi­ness move

Un­less you ped­dle but­tons, card­board signs or tele­vi­sion air­time, or you own a hot-dog stand near a polling place, this month's pro­vin­cial elec­tion is un­likely to in­flu­ence what prod­ucts you sell. And yet as pol­i­tics be­comes more po­lar­ized, not ev­ery com­pany chooses to stay above the par­ti­san fray. Nor can ev­ery busi­ness make that de­ci­sion for it­self.

Van­cou­ver's Storm Crow Tav­ern/ Ale­house didn't want to stay neu­tral. Af­ter the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, the bistro pub flew straight into the bat­tle with a se­ries of cock­tails mock­ing the 45th pres­i­dent of the United States. There was the Tax Re­turn (which, un­like Trump's, was de­liv­ered upon re­quest), the Tiny Hand­tini (with a cot­ton­candy comb-over), If She Wasn't My Daugh­ter and one named for a gen­eral ex­pres­sion of dis­may that we will sim­ply call the [bleep]. Ac­cord­ing to Storm Crow pro­pri­etor Ja­son Ka­palka, who pre­vi­ously co-founded Pop­cap Games be­fore sell­ing it to Elec­tronic Arts Inc., the re­sponse was al­most uni­ver­sally pos­i­tive. “We were pretty sur­prised at how many [bleeps] we sold, con­sid­er­ing it's just three shots of vodka and a bowl of Chee­tos at an ar­bi­trary price point of $20,” he says. “But peo­ple thought it ex­pressed their feel­ings uniquely well.”

It helped that Ka­palka was do­nat­ing 50 per cent of prof­its to rel­e­vant lo­cal

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