Amazon to Stop Pushing Washington Post Stories to Customers

(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. will stop emailing popular Washington Post stories to customers, the company said in an email, a possible attempt to separate the e-commerce giant from the newspaper’s hard-hitting coverage of President Donald Trump.

Since entering the White House, Trump has sought to blur the lines between Amazon and the Post, which Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has owned since 2013. The daily blast was an example of cross-marketing between the two companies, although Bezos owns the Post separately from Amazon.

The email, which Amazon said Thursday will be discontinued on Nov. 5, features most-read stories on the Post website and frequently highlights news and commentary about the Trump administration. Thursday’s blast features a story by columnist Max Boot entitled “Vote against all Republicans. Every single one.”

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It doesn’t make sense for Amazon to promote the Washington Post, because Amazon is a brand loved by everyone,” said Laura Ries, of the Atlanta brand strategy firm Ries & Ries. “Amazon wants to stay as far away from politics as possible because it’s so polarizing.”

Bezos and Amazon have been a frequent targets of Trump, who has often conflated Amazon and the Post in Tweets criticizing coverage of his presidency. Trump has said the Post is Amazon’s “chief lobbyist.”

Bezos traditionally keeps Amazon out of political issues that aren’t directly tied to its business, unlike many other big technology companies that take positions on social issues. Amazon, along with Google and the military, are among the few institutions highly trusted by Democrats and Republicans alike, according to a survey conducted this summer by Georgetown University’s Baker Center for Leadership & Governance.

“This is better for Amazon’s business going forward when things will get hotter and heavier for the 2020 election,” said Robert Shapiro, a political science professor at Columbia University.

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