Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ahava and the Bay: The Makings of Yet Another BDS Hoax

Ahava has been getting a great deal of attention from the haters, lately. In Canada, the Hudson Bay Company ("The Bay") has been under a great deal of pressure to stop carrying the upscale health and beauty aids. This week, the Bay's decision to stop carrying Ahava was met with chortles of glee from the usual suspects. But according to the Chief Adventurer and CEO, Bonnie Brooks, this was not a political decision.

Last week, after a regularly-scheduled review of the products it offers, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) discontinued sales of AHAVA beauty products, primarily because of sales results which had been declining for several years.

Although this decision was made by HBC solely for commercial reasons, it occurred at the same time as an aggressive campaign by several groups advocating a boycott of AHAVA products. At no point did political considerations enter into the exercise of HBC's business judgment. HBC has made it clear that it has not "bowed to political pressure" in the past, has not done so now and will not do so in the future. HBC neither subscribes to nor endorses politically-motivated boycotts of merchandise from countries with whom Canada has open and established trading relationships, including Israel.

AHAVA products will soon be reformulated and redesigned as a totally changed brand. The new AHAVA products will be ready by mid-spring and is planned to be re-launched at HBC stores across Canada. We encourage consumers across Canada to purchase those products as soon as they are available.

Code Pink suggest to their activists they write thanking the Bay " for standing up for human rights and international law" . Apparently they didn't read this part of Ms.Brooks' press release: "HBC has made it clear that it has not "bowed to political pressure" in the past, has not done so now and will not do so in the future."


Anonymous said...

But slow down: There is more to the story- see this letter from B’nai Brith Canada

Further to the Community Alert B’nai Brith Canada issued earlier this week,
and the contradictory explanations that have been given by representatives
of the Bay on the Ahava issue, B’nai Brith has followed up with another
letter which includes the following offer to the company:

The Bay, which is among the retail outlets being targeted by a coordinated
anti-Israel campaign, appears to have underestimated the sensitivity of the
situation and the need for the corporation to express one clearly enunciated
position, with one consistent message, to its customers and to the public.
After receiving concerned calls from individuals who witnessed products
being removed while protests were taking place, we took the precaution of
checking with The Bay for an explanation. A person who identified herself
as a spokesperson insisted that it was a “business decision” made by The
Bay. The explanation you have since circulated, which insists it was a
decision by the manufacturer/ distributer, contradicts the explanation you
are now offering the public.

Regardless of the explanation behind The Bay’s actions, The Bay has failed
to deal with the concerns of its customers in so far as it has not issued a
clear statement as any effective public relations strategy would dictate.
By offering contradictory explanations, the company has to take
responsibility for the confusion that has ensued. Regardless of
explanations offered, the fact that the removal of the Israeli-made products
coincides with the bigoted anti-Israel campaign has left boycott
propagandists with the public perception of a victory. For example,
Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, the instigators of the
boycott, and the Palestine Solidarity Network are now publicly thanking The
Bay for dropping Ahava products and removing the products from its shelves.
The Bay is already being held up by anti-Israel agitators as an example of
what a boycott campaign can achieve.

As a way of helping you to clarify and rectify the situation, we are
prepared to offer you advertising space free of charge in the largest
Anglo-Jewish publication in Canada, the Jewish Tribune, so that you can
promote the Israeli-made products you carry. This will indicate that The Bay
firmly resists attempts to accede to the demands of boycott campaigners.



bacci40 said...

same thing happened with a retailer in britain, that carries alot of israeli products

its normal for retailers to remove products that arent selling...and ahava has stated that they are retooling their line to fit the needs of consumers

its up to the consumers....go to bay...go to the retailer in britain, and demand that they restock the product

its as simple as that.

but, it has nothing to do with bds