In the US, brands such as Starbucks and Wal-Mart have been targeted by consumer campaigns hoping to encourage a change in corporate behaviour.
A campaign directed at Starbucks in the US, resulted in the coffee chain changing the ingredients in its strawberry cappuccino after almost 7,000 people signed the petition for it to stop using cochineal extract from insects to colour its “Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino”.
In the UK, Ryanair has already been the target of Change.org petitioners after thousands called for it to stop using “sexist” images of scantily-clad staff in its advertising, a move which led to the ads being banned by the advertising watchdog earlier this year.
Change.org was launched in the US in 2007 with the aim of helping consumers drive social change. The site also aims to be a campaigning platform for local and national charity organisations as well as families – it was used by Trayvon Martin’s parents to campaign for justice for their dead son – to gain support.
More than 300 campaigns have already started in the UK before the launch, a number that is expected to increase.
Ben Rattray, Change.org founder and CEO, says: “We’re radically changing the way in which people can influence those in power to deliver social change at every level. From huge international movements, to taking on companies, to hyper-local campaigns thousands of people are logging on, launching campaigns and winning victories every week. The UK has a proud history of campaigning and we’re putting the tools they need right in the hands of the people.”
14 million global users, growing by two million per month
500,000 UK users (of the US site)
15,000 petitions started every month