Consumer activism is a term that describes a variety of disparate movements that seek to influence the behavior of companies through activities ranging from providing information to boycotts, pickets, and litigation, with the aim of forcing companies to act in a way that benefits the perceived interests of consumers. The unifying idea of consumer activism is the belief that consumers can and should exercise their market power to improve not only the quality of products but also the conditions under which they are made, distributed, advertised, and sold. Consumer activism takes Adam Smith’s dictate that “the consumer is king” to mean not only that the market responds to consumer demand for products but also that consumers can translate that demand into power for the sake ...

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