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Ben and Jerrry's and Ethical Franchising

Ben and Jerry’s are a franchise that’s never been afraid of taking stands on divisive political issues.  In the past, the Vermont-based ice cream manufacturer and franchise has taken stands over nuclear weapons, children’s rights and global warming and it has now come out with a (tasty) defense of gay marriage.

To honor the first day of legalized gay marriage in Ben and Jerry’s home state, the ice cream hippies announced that they are changing the name of their Chubby Hubby ice cream to Hubby Hubby. It’s a brave thing to do, but then again Ben and Jerry’s have never been afraid to wear their politics on the side of their ice cream container.

“At the core of Ben & Jerry’s values, we believe that social justice can and should be something that every human being is entitled to,” said Walt Freese, Chief Executive Officer of Ben & Jerry’s. “From the very beginning of our 30 year history, we have supported equal rights for all people. The legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont is certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream.”

They say it make a while for the Hubby Hubby ice cream to make its way into stores around the country. Whatever your stance on the issue is, it’s clear that ethical matters are becoming more and more prominent to a franchise’s profile. Our recent Top 100 Global Franchises list factored in many ethical issues into its final rankings. There are clearly benefits to this, on top of the global publicity that Ben and Jerry’s have gotten in the past 24 hours. Ben and Jerry’s have taken a stand and it’s likely they will attract a sizable group of people who support them for it.

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