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A billboard featuring a portrait of NFL football player Colin Kaepernick. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

More and more people in the U.S. and worldwide believe brands should take a stand on societal issues, a report from Edelman says.

Why it matters: Public stances, from campaign ads to press releases — especially on activist issues — have effects on the public perception of a company, its future sales and even the stock market. People see brands as an important way of expressing themselves and consumers want companies to align with their core beliefs, Felix Richter, data analyst for Statista, writes.

In 2018, 64% of people worldwide say a company’s stand on societal issues affects their patronage, a 13-point bump from 2017, per Edelman.

  • In the U.S. alone, 57% are belief-driven buyers, up 10 points from 2017.
  • China has the highest belief in brands taking a stand with 78% of the population.
  • 64% say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it.
  • Nearly 60% of Americans thought brands should take a position on controversial issues no matter what, rising to 83% when combined with those who wanted companies to take a stance only if it related to their products or services, according to a report from eMarketer.

The most recent controversy has been Nike signing former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign.

  • Nike did take a dip in favorability — shoes were burned, merchandise was defaced —but all of Nike's online sales trended upward.

During Super Bowl LI in 2017, many companies such as Airbnb and Coca-Cola decided to use their costly 30-second time slots to denounce anti-immigration rhetoric and a wall at the Mexican-American border that President Trump promised to build.

Lyft condemned Trump’s travel ban, pledging to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union over four years. Lyft said it would “stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

1 dead after pickup truck hits Pride spectators in Florida

Police investigate the scene where a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images

A driver in a pickup truck hit spectators at a Pride festival in Wilton Manors, Florida, killing a man and leaving another person hospitalized Saturday, authorities said.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters police had "apprehended the driver" and that the vehicle missed a parade car carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) "by inches."

Updated 8 hours ago - Sports

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for COVID in Tokyo

The Uganda National boxing team's Catherine Nanziri (L) and others arrive for check-in at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso, Uganda on Friday, ahead of their departure to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP via Getty Images

A Uganda Olympic team member tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan late Saturday, officials said.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced criticism for vowing to host the Tokyo Games next month as coronavirus cases rise. The Ugandan team is the second to arrive in Japan after the Australian women's softball players, and this is the first COVID-19 infection detected among the Olympic athletes, Al Jazeera notes.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

In photos: Brazilians rally against Bolsonaro as COVID deaths top 500,000

A June 19 protest in São Paulo, Brazil, against the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has railed against precautionary health measures despite the soaring COVID-19 death rate and cases. Photo: Rodrigo Paiva/Getty Images

Demonstrators took to the streets in at least 22 of Brazil’s 26 states to protest President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic — as deaths from COVID-19 in the country surged past 500,000 Saturday, per AP.

The big picture: Brazil has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll and third-highest number of reported cases. Only 12% of the country's population has been vaccinated against the virus, AP notes.