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Is Trump scaring away sponsors from GOP convention?

Former sponsors distance themselves from GOP convention 02:52

Donald Trump's rhetoric has won millions of votes, but it may be scaring away sponsors from next month's Republican convention in Cleveland. Activists are pressuring past RNC sponsors to stay away this year.

Traditionally, the Republican and Democratic conventions are meant to introduce each party's candidates to a broader electorate and the millions of people tuning in. But with all eyes on Trump's nominating convention, major companies seem to be staying away from the RNC, wary of potential damage to their own brands, reports CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman.

Trump's inflammatory comments have been a staple of his candidacy.

"They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists," Trump said of Mexican immigrants in June 2015.

"There is a great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population," he also said last December.

Now that he's the presumptive Republican nominee, some corporate sponsors are distancing themselves from the Republican National Convention.

Color of Change PAC is a civil rights group trying to get sponsors to drop out.

"This moment is about corporations making a very clear decision about connecting their money and theior resources to the type of hate that Donald Trump has been selling America," Color of Change PAC spokesperson Rashad Robinson said.

Hewlett-Packard is the latest to say it won't attend. The high-tech company said it will not contribute to either party convention. According to Color of Change PAC, the company provided over $556,000 in cash and in-kind donations four years ago.

Microsoft, an RNC donor in 2012, won't be contributing any money this time, just technical services and products. Coca-Cola, which gave $660,000 four years ago, donated $75,000 this year.

"Brands are being very cautious around their messaging for these conventions, because if they back away from the RNC, that's problematic too," Advertising Age managing editor Natalie Zmuda said.

Zmuda said the political conventions still attract large audiences.

"Marketers don't want to be involved with negativity and don't want to be associated with a convention that potentially is perceived as alienating some audiences," she said.

Zmuda notes many sponsorships are locked up in advance.

Google is still an RNC sponsor. So is Facebook, which said its involvement is a matter of civic duty.

"If any employee of a major Fortune 500 company went into work and said the things that Donald Trump says on the campaign trail, they'd be fired," Robinson said.

Color of Change PAC said it is has also been pressuring Amazon, AT&T and Xerox to drop their sponsorship or not sponsor at all. CBS News reached out to the Trump campaign, but did not receive a response. The RNC's host committee told us it has already raised more than $56 million, nearly 90 percent of its $64 million budget.

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