In addition to sharing wine pairings and hacks for a stress-free Thanksgiving with its 4.4 million followers, Amazon’s upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market had to repeatedly clarify over the long weekend that it did not name Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell its 2019 Person of the Year.
It was the monthly trade magazine WholeFoods (no space), which gave McConnell the distinction because of his work to legalize hemp. The digital issue notes McConnell made the most substantial impact from cannabis to climate change on the natural products industry as the politician who “planted the seeds of CBD’s growth in the U.S. market by introducing The Hemp Farming Act of 2018.”
The Republican Senator from Kentucky is a divisive figure in U.S. politics in part because of his support of President Donald Trump.
And when some consumers on Twitter conflated the magazine with the retailer, they were quick to express displeasure, causing reps for the grocery store to repeatedly clarify Whole Foods is not associated with the publication:
Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Whole Foods Market was founded in 1980.
The publication’s story published on Nov. 21. At the bottom of its About Us page, WholeFoods Magazine notes it also has no affiliation with Whole Foods Market. It was established in 1984.
Lisa Lacy is a reporter for Adweek’s brand desk, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon. She has covered marketing and technology for more than a decade for publications like TechCrunch, CMO.com, VentureBeat, the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal. She has a master's in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's in English from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England.