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“Spend Money On Us” Shops Bravely Advise

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

“We understand these are troubling times. In light of this, we’re speeding up production, providing faster turn-around, and making sure our employees continue to work tirelessly for you. Use promo code: COVID-19 for 19% off your order.” 

As Americans are scrounging up their savings to pay their rent and groceries, businesses are there to provide solace and comfort. No, not by offering relief funds or providing some type of support. They’re offering an opportunity: the opportunity to purchase. They will allow you the favor of buying their product. It’s surprising they haven’t all been nominated for Nobel Prizes. After all, every current commercial seems to be some reiteration of “We know things are tough. So, brighten up your day by getting yourself an [insert product here]!” 

With over 30 million Americans applying for unemployment insurance, money to spend on non-essential items is scarce. However, this hasn’t stopped many businesses from promoting their products now more than ever. It’s understandable in some capacity; these businesses still need to churn a profit and pay their employees. Yet, Amazon workers (despite the company raking in extremely high sales) are working in unsafe conditions, being made to work without masks. Kroger asked employees to return money the company had dispensed as extra COVID-19 pay, and revoked the “hero bonus” of an extra $2 an hour to working employees. Other companies are engaging in similarly exploitative behaviors, more concerned over reaping profits than ensuring their employees’ safety and well-being.

online shopping with credit card
Shopify Partners
People are being forced to choose between paying for their mortgages or car payments. Credit card bills continue to rise. Current advertising makes these dilemmas seem more akin to choosing between two dresses for an event rather than a despairing choice. After all, why pay off your student loan when you can buy a shiny new Petolon? Such advertising is tone-deaf and exploitative. Their empty remarks of empathy encourage more disgust rather than inspiration to purchase.

Melody Niv

UC Berkeley '20

Melody Niv is a senior at U.C. Berkeley studying political science and history. She is interested in international politics, counterterrorism, Jewish studies, and media studies. In her free time, she does stand-up comedy and plays with Larry David figurines.
After three years at Cal, Brianna Brann graduated UC Berkeley in 2020 with a double major in Economics and Media Studies! She is originally from Santa Clarita in Southern California, but she loves the weather, nature, and people in the Bay Area. In addition to her unmatched passion for film and television, she also enjoys visiting the beach, playing with her dog, and hiking outdoors!