New App empowers consumers with awareness
Sep. 2, 2014 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
There’s a free app shoppers can download via iTunes that will allow them to support or not support a company based on political giving information. The app’s name: BuyPartisan.
The new app is making news across the country, causing a stir with Fortune 500 companies who don’t want you to know their political preference. Finding out where your favorite brands lie on the political spectrum is now as easy as scanning bar codes with your iPhone.
Excerpt from LA Times:
Smartphone app reveals the politics in your shopping cart
By compiling campaign finance data from the top Fortune 500 companies and matching it with their products, the app lets consumers scan their groceries and immediately find out which political party stands to profit most from the sale.
“We’re trying to make every day election day for people,” Colbert said, adding that the app helps consumers support products that reflect their political beliefs.
BuyPartisan doesn’t directly urge users to boycott products, but that’s likely how many consumers will use it.
“For the first time ever, you’re able to take that product and bring it to a whole new light,” Colbert said. “A quarter or tenth of a penny that went to a political contribution might not be something you know.”
BuyPartisan is the first project of Colbert’s company, Spend Consciously. The app uses data compiled over the last decade by the Center for Responsive Politics, the Sunlight Foundation and the National Institute on Money in State Politics and pairs it with companies that produce 75% of supermarket goods.
The process is simple: Users scan a bar code using their phone’s camera, and within seconds data are displayed on the screen. A red and blue bar breaks down the percentage of Republican and Democratic support the manufacturer and its employees provided, while a green bar signifies “other.”
We’re trying to make every day election day for people. – Matthew Colbert, who developed the smartphone application BuyPartisan
Dawn dish soap, for example, which is produced by Procter & Gamble, scores an average of 70.25% Republican, according to BuyPartisan. Celestial Seasonings tea, on the other hand, is 91% Democratic.
Still in the testing phase, the app has some glitches that occasionally misread the bar code or match to the wrong company. An Android version is in the works.