President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has almost 30 million followers, and the mass media coverage of the Executive Branch is unprecedented. The presidential platform is enormous and should be used to communicate important issues and establish transparency between the American people and their leader.
However, it has been used inappropriately for the first family’s personal gain, specifically concerning Ivanka Trump’s fashion line.
Ivanka Trump’s fashion line experienced a major boycott due to her father’s hateful rhetoric against women in his campaign. The “Grab Your Wallet,” campaign calls for people to distance themselves from any company in relations to the Trump family. Ironically, the campaign name was inspired by President Trump’s infamous comments about women.
Through this boycott, companies such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have decided to stop selling Ivanka Trump’s line of merchandise. However, despite these boycotts, the line is doing exponentially well online and continues to break company records.
According to Lyst, an e-commerce aggregator, Ivanka Trump’s sales increased 346 percent from January to February. It was ranked number 550 in sales and jumped to number 11 in a month.
“Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” said Abagail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump line for an interview in Refinery29. For several different retailers, Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the best performance ever.’’
This spike was at the same time Kellyanne Conway, presidential advisor, encouraged Americans to buy “Ivanka’s stuff.” Conway’s free promotion of a business directly benefiting members of the Trump administration is ethically dishonest and should be condemned. The American people deserve to have their communication free of all ulterior motives—especially if it is for the personal gain of a party meant to be serving them.
Twitter has been a platform both President Trump and Ivanka Trump have used to bring attention to the line. Trump criticized Nordstrom on his account for discontinuing his daughter’s line. Before the election was finalized, Ivanka Trump used her father’s political platform to encourage followers to buy the dress she wore to the Republican National Convention.
Is it no coincidence the sales of her line rise in numbers the same month Donald Trump and Conway speak positively about Ivanka Trump’s brand. These two important political figures have used their influence and platform to benefit a company with direct ties to the Trump family business.
Although Ivanka Trump has temporarily taken a leave of absence as president of the line, it is not enough reassurance. She continues to play a role in the White House, and it is for that reason Ivanka Trump should actively condemn these actions for the sake of the American people. Free advertisements have no place in the White House.
– John Lee is a marketing freshman