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Avoiding Industry Boycotts
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Avoiding Industry Boycotts
In 2003, FDC-Western Union faced a major boycott threat and challenge to the proposed acquisition of Concorde Resources, a financial services company who owned the STAR ATM network. Having no community outreach initiative or programs, the Company was, in the terms of Hispanic advocates, "low hanging fruit."

A protest by Hispanic evangelicals and the original Latino Coalition of Washington DC was scheduled to take place on the steps of the U.S. Dept. of Justice — DOJ having the final say in the proposed acquisition.

Mr. Niehaus was brought in by the First Data Corporation CEO Charles T. Fote to mediate and diffuse the situation.

A negotiation was initiated with Hispanic leaders and the protests were suspended. The key was to establish a collaborative partnership between the Hispanic Community and FDC WU. What resulted was the establishment of an Empowerment Fund. Initiatives were implemented jointly over a 7 year period. These initiatives have been shrouded in an aura of enlightened self interest for both the Community and the Company.

A bond of trust and collaboration was established -- a face was put on the Company.
The strategic value of this collaboration has achieved 5 things:

1. Support and Opportunity for the Company and Community

2. Corporate Brand Enhancement

3. Protection against paid activists attacking the Company

4. Deep rooted legitimate relationships with multinational Community Leaders

5. An alignment of corporate resources, interfacing with the Hispanic community to achieve corporate objectives