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Kellogg's Stock Takes Big Hit After Phelps Bong Controversy

I'm no expert on the stock market, but this doesn’t look good for Kellogg's:

Kellogg Co. Stock -- February 2009:

As the chart shows, the company's stock took an immediate dive following its decision to drop Michael Phelps over the infamous bong hit photo. What began as a coordinated boycott by drug reform organizations quickly escalated into a full-blown media frenzy as major news outlets picked up the story. Pot-friendly websites like began directing massive traffic to news coverage that was critical of Kellogg's anti-marijuana posturing, thereby increasing the campaign's visibility among likely supporters.

The cumulative impact of all this negative publicity is helpfully illustrated by The Vanno Reputation Index, which monitors the public image of leading corporations:
Out of the 5,600 company reputations Vanno monitors, Kellogg ranked ninth before it booted Phelps. Now it's ranked 83. Not even an industry-wide peanut scare inflicted as much damage on the food company's reputation. [Business Insider]

In the current economic climate, it would be silly to think we're solely responsible for Kellogg's falling stock. Still, the Vanno data clearly shows that we've dealt a substantial blow to the company's reputation at the worst possible time. Whether or not we actually had a considerable impact on Kellogg's bottom line is beside the point. What matters is that we sent an unprecedented message to corporate America that reefer madness is bad for business.

For far too long now, the drug war has been sustained by a corporate culture that embraces anti-drug propaganda at every turn. Just as our press and politicians have struggled to come to terms with evolving public attitudes about drugs and drug policy, corporate America has remained enslaved by the tired mindset that a healthy public image is best secured through hardline anti-drug posturing.

The Phelps saga may soon be regarded as the moment when all of that changed, the unforeseeable, yet inevitable moment when the invisible hand of America's marijuana culture finally became a fist.

Update: Many have pointed out, and I agree, that Kellogg's falling stock is much better explained by the economy than the boycott. I thought I did a sufficient job of drawing this distinction in the post, but I can understand how the title and tone of the overall post might lead some to conclude otherwise. So for the record: the point of the post is not that the marijuana reform community crashed Kellogg's stock. I don't believe that to be true. The point is that our message gains much better traction at a moment like this. The last thing Kellogg's wants is a highly publicized boycott in the middle of an economic crisis.

I've been skeptical of previous boycott proposals that have circulated among reformers in the past, but this effort has been a massive success. In terms of media coverage and the subsequent slaughter of Kellogg's corporate reputation ranking, we couldn't have asked for a more visible impact than we've managed to achieve.

Just because Kellogg's hasn't formally surrendered to us somehow doesn't mean we didn't kick their ass. I'm sure they are utterly stunned by the backlash they received, and that's what matters.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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This has been going around today- but what if every stoner and sympathizer started marking all their cash, be it a leaf, a joint in GW's mouth, or a Peter Tosh lyric? These bills will end up in the hands of the prohibitionists, at least some of whom will be forced to realize that they are dealing with a consumer market rather than a clutch of addled zombies.

Whaddya think?


It is illegal to deface US currency.

It is illegal to smoke

It is illegal to smoke marijuana.

It is illegal to infringe

It is illegal to infringe upon Peter Tosh's copyrights.


It was once illegal for women to vote. That is all.


Yeah, and women shouldn't be allowed to vote. And all those people that want to or smoke pot should go to hell. They are sinners. Like all women.


Quick... somone check the padded rooms. One of them is empty.


Seriously, some of the statements suggest severe anger issues and likely mental disease. Now, there is a suggestion of real issues against women, too. This is the same person stating that all "pot smokers" are pedophiles? It suggests a real possibility of a very dangerous individual. I am unhappy that person has decided to grace us, all, with his presence on the blog. I feel uncomfortable with the comments. They seem to be getting more outrageous.


outrage us!

You Don't Actually Believe that that Guy Thinks that Do You?

The person who called women sinners was obviously joking or poking fun at people who are actually sexist and believe such horrible things. Don't be so quick to judge a statement on the internet as serious.


Do you have a PC in that hole you must live in?

You are an idiot

nuff said



live a little bro

Read the sign; don't feed the troll

This is the most obvious troll attempt i have ever seen. Please do not feed the troll, that will make it lose its fear of humans.

Defacement of Currency

Defacement of Currency

Defacement of currency is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Under this provision, currency defacement is generally defined as follows: Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Defacement of currency in such a way that it is made unfit for circulation comes under the jurisdiction of the United States Secret Service. Their mailing address is:

United States Secret Service
950 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20223.

The United States Secret Service web address is


Yet according to the current standards actually graffiti on the bill isn't actual defacement - "render such item(s) unfit to be reissued." Sorry but owning a business banks have given me back such tender with the damn website to track money. This law may be invoked if they were going to persecute but actual enforcement of this law is none-existant


Bank tellers and small business accountants write on currency bills all the time. Also, the pen commonly used to verify the authenticacy of bills defaces them. Lighhten up.

It's not illegal to make a minor notation on a banknote.

United States Code
333. Mutilation of national bank obligations

Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or
unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill,
draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking
association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System,
with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence
of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

That site must be set up by the terrorists or something.

How come everyone who has admitted to using that site hasn't been locked up in jail?

They should be!!!


Wait GW is on a bill now? I would draw a dick in his mouth and keep my imaginary stash to myself.

George Washington?

Enough with the GW abbreviations. How can I tell the difference between G.W. (George Washington) and G.W. George Bush? Obviously George Washington is on a bill... but If one person needs the buzz right now it's George Bush.

Anyone interested in Bush being on the 3 dollar bill?
...not that our money is worth anything anymore. It is like Post WWI Germany in the US right now

George Washington grew acres of hemp

Many (most?) farmers in colonial times, including George Washington, grew hemp.

Writing on money

Since it's illegal, no one can publicly launch a campaign like this. I don't think it could ever get any momentum going.

Even if it could, I'm not sure it would reflect well on us. People might not like it. It depends on the messaging, of course, but when I see writing on money, I tend to assume a crazy person did it.

We've been getting some great coverage lately in the mainstream press and I think that's a better path towards changing the tone of the debate.

Way to go, SUBWAY!!!

Subway rocks. Now Michael Phelps is in their commercials with "Thank you for letting me be mice elf" (Sly and the Family Stone) as background music. Woo-frickin-hoo! AWESOME! In your face, Kelloggs! SUBWAY ROCKS!!!!

I watch the markets daily

And the Kellogg decline has been very interesting.

The day prior to their dropping Phelps K reported above average earnings and their price went up almost a dollar. In spite of the peanut butter recall they were in the middle of at the time.

But once they dropped Phelps the price started to decline. It closed Monday down 12% since they dropped Phelps.

There are good reasons for this happening.

Big institutional investors understand that a company can weather a product recall is it is handled right. But there is no controlling the human emotions of a consumer BOYCOTT threat. It is an unpredictable for the next couple of months until K shows, in their earnings, that the boycott is not substantive. In the mean time institutional investors do not want to expose themselves to a downside potential that they simply cannot predict and so they get out until the reality becomes clearer.

I believe also that institutional investors, who are consumer product markets experts, are pragmatic people who understand consumers, REGARDLESS of any anti drug propaganda or nationalist group think. They know that there are easily tens of millions of people in North, Central and South America as well as Europe and Asia (Kellogg markets) who love Phelps, consumer foods and pot.

Add to this the timing of the recent CNBC 'BUSINESS NEWS' pot report that described, to institutional investors, a pot market as being worth billions and institutional investors have an idea of a serious potential consumer relations problem for Kellogg in this boycott call.

So it is important that we keep hammering at the boycott. Find reasons to inspire stories and writers to keep talking about it. As long as the Phelps story stays active Kellogg is in deep trouble with its big money institutional investors.

Take a look at these sponsors of drug war propaganda

Why we are on the issue of Kellogs, take a close look at these sponsors of drug war propaganda:

The Daniels Fund
Merilee and Roy Bostock
Endo Pharmaceuticals
Allen G. Rosenshine
The Robert Wood Johnson
Abbott Laboratories
MetLife Foundation
Pharmaceutical Research &
Manufacturers of America
Major League Baseball
Consumer Healthcare Products
Johnson & Johnson
King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Reckitt Benckiser
$50,000 to $99,999
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Foundation, Inc.
Wyeth Consumer Healthcare
$25,000 to $49,999
A&E Television Networks
Halliburton Company
F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc.
Merrill Lynch & Co. Foundation,
Sony Corporation.......................AND MORE.....................................

Great list

But not focused enough to get the attention of the media the way the Kellogg Phelps story has been able to get their attention. Keeping focused on one thing that the media can obsess about and tangibly quantify, like the Kellogg price decline, gives scale to the pot consumer market in America.

I am looking forward to Kellogg's next earnings in early May. they were above average this past quarter. And being a consumer foods company they should hold up well in the lousy economy. As they have so far. If that changes in the next quarter it will reflect directly the size and economic power of the cannabis consumer in America and around the world.

Some reform organization needs to make a "BOYCOTT KELLOGG'S" bumper sticker as a fund raiser. I'd buy one.

Keeping Showing our numbers

Any time the pot heads of America can all act in a way that outs no-one, our numbers shown will be huge. Most pot smokers wont call congress, or write a letter, or sign a petition, all out of fear. the 80 year war on drugs, has throughout employed large amounts of propaganda that like it or not is wildly accepted as fact. while 20,000,000 Americans know that pot is basically harmless, but were not everybody.

So along with destroying Kellogg which i never munched much anyway (thank god this was not Ben&G) i am glad to see their stock take a huge hit because of this. But we need to push the other side to, tune in to Bill Mahar, vote up Marijuana fact videos on YouTube, buy high times,Find Stoner friendly enterprise in your area and support the hell out of it. show the world that Marijuana smokers are huge business.

Future Boycotts

Guys you may be on to a new tactic. Corporate profits......Do you think that some of these high powered muckity mucks in the corporate arena could influence the politicians on cannabis policy? What other companies do the drug companies own? We can't just boycott our medicines but perhaps some of their subsidiaries? If the anti-cannabis crowd began to loose their funding or were associated with declining profits and reputation, these war crazy idiots might be put down in shame. It's also a way for the folks who don't want to stand out front and picket for pro-cannabis legislation to contribute to the cause. I may be overly optimistic but this seems like a real possibility.

I buy Post now

I'd like to think I'm helping to have an impact -- I've been buying Post cereals ever since. I can't imagine that enough people switched to buying Kellogg's after they ditched Phelps to offset those who switched to another brand in protest. We ARE having an impact, albeit probably small in the grand scheme of things -- but, it's probably measurable and even the notion is probably pissing off Kellogg's...and that's kind of the point...

End Drug Prohibition!

- Kelly


How are we so sure that the decline was a reaction to Phelps? Let's not forget the economic issues we've got going on now.

I dunno

Go to Google finance and plot the price of K stock against the Dow and S&P 500 for the last 6 months.

The graphs look almost identical. Unless you somehow convinced the entire stock market to boycott everything, I believe you're thinking there's something in the data that's not there.

I agree

Here is a graph comparing K with its competitors in the industry:

There really is no significant difference.

it is pretty significant if

it is pretty significant if you look at market shares, enough explain the significant drop....... it is pretty significant based on market share

Absolutely right.

Here's a chart comparing General Mills and Kellogg's:

I like to think that

I like to think that potheads everywhere are making a statement!
It is no longer about Micheal Phelps or Kelloggs but more about the need to be tolerant with marijuana use.

I've smoked

I've smoked pot for 30 years and my friend smoked cigarettes for 30 years. He's dead. I'm alive and healthy and 62 years old. You can believe all the garbage and bad rap that pot gets, but I'm here to tell you, cigarettes are far worse, as is drinking, and both are legal. Nuff said.


Thank You

These are the real life accounts that people need to hear. Don't listen to the media's misinformation.

i'm high, but...

The price of the stock is more a reflection of market conditions imo;range=20090102,20090224;compare=^gspc;indicator=ke_sd+volumema+stochasticfast+mfi;charttype=candlestick;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on

Fit your data to your theory? Idiots do.

I took a dump at the exact same time the stock dropped! That MUST mean that my turd is responsible for the decline in the price of the security!!

Ceteris Paribus

I ejaculated the same time your mother conceived you. That means that I MUST be your father!! It is an economic theory, not a law. Considering the fact that the Phelps Bong Incident was the only news worthy story involving Kelloggs within that time period, id say it is a pretty safe assumption that it was at least partially responsible for the tanking. But hey, every group of comments must have at least ONE asshole skeptic trolling for a negative response.

There you go.

It's not just Kellogg's

I doubt very much that the Michael Phelps issue had anything to do with the stock drop. Look at the market. In specific look at Kellogg's 2 main competitors: General Mills (Stock Ticker: GIS) and Kraft (Stock Ticker: KFT). They both dropped pretty much the same rate at the same times. As someone said earlier, it's just a reflection of the market conditions. I'm sure that if we put up all Food Industries we'll see the same trend amongst all stocks.


You are absolutely WRONG. You obviously don't understand one bit how the system work. I can guarantee you that not one single person, firm, or fund gives one flying fuck whether or not Kellogg's supports Phelps or not. Buys and sells of stocks are made purely for profit--welcome to capitalism.
Get your head out of your ass--and bong--and actually think for a second.

Your all missing the point.

But it doesnt actually matter if they loose money or shares drop, at the end of the day the media coverage was there and that was the point. It still showed that the status quo is changing and maybe in the future if anything like this comes up a company would let it go to avoid hassle rather than thinking that sacking him would keep the public happy. If you dont have a strong opinion on something you tend to just have the programmed automatic view, unless your a vegetarian and have thaught about this and made that choice then you will be a meat eater, that might be because you love meat or have never even thaught about it before. A lot of people dont feel strongly about smoking pot but will live their lives naturally being anti drugs because that is what they have been fed. No one has time to form an individual opinion about every single thing in the world so subconciously you think what your taught to think or what the people, friends, work collegues around you think All big changes like this have to start slowly like this to get people thinking without scareing them. Although a lot of the drugs war propaganda seems so oviously lies misinformation and scare mongering just remeber that if you have not been exposed to counter information it seems unplausable that anything we say could be true coz that would mean the governements lieing not the pot smokers, shock horror, but u cnt expect every1 to be able to realise that as easily as some can .Soz rant, but at the end of the day who cares what happens to the stocks aslong as it is being highlighted in the media and getting good press and making people think. x

Really, Why is it such a big deal?!

What I am having a hard time understanding is the anger over whether or not the boycott actually had any claim to this drop. Really? Who cares? They are going downhill, when realistically, the food market should be the last to be changing. We will just have to wait and see.

And again, who cares!

Kellogg's? They sell too much crap, full of highly processed flour, sugar, anyway! And they charge a lot more for it than one can get for the generic price. Maybe, if moms and dads buy, the less palatable, generic, the kids will choose to eat something else, like fresh fruit!


How much of a moron are you? Did you even check to see what the market as a whole was doing at the same time?? Go to Google and check the Nasdaq and Dow Jones check boxes to show them together.

Get your facts straight!


Wow, that must mean that the whole stock market is going down because Kellogg's dropped Michael Phelps. I bet he never saw it coming to this... the whole world, riding on his shoulders...

"Kellogg's Stock Takes Big

"Kellogg's Stock Takes Big Hit After Phelps Bong Controversy"

Your point being?

No, not neccessarily

I am kinda high right now, wanting a Kelloggs product, but am boycotting myself, but look at General Mills stock, another major in their same market industry.

[email protected] 43.58 is on Feb 6, which the boycott begins. The stock is now at 39.22. which is about a 10% decrease.

While General Mills... GO CLUSTERS CEREAL... has decreased from 58.84 to 54.80 which is about 7.3% decrease....

but the catch is that kellogg has 382 million shares versus General Mills @ 327.

i still think we have a voice, and others will join

I want a rice crispy treat... economic war is hell!

I want a rice crispy treat... economic war is hell!

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