Will corporations save humanity – part 2

This is not an article about Shopper marketing directly but I wanted to raise something that seems to be creeping more and more into our daily lives. Coca cola has just launched this TV ad (http://youtu.be/zybnaPqzJ6s). It’s a sort of learn to live healthily corporate CSR and Coca cola saves the planet approach sort of thing. Well it was not to be outdone by P&G with their ‘Mums’ campaign at the Olympics. 

 

The same day I saw an article about the scale of the damage caused to young children’s teeth by our obsessive consumption of fizzy or sugary drinks (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/stop-the-rot-why-thousands-of-british-children-are-having-their-teeth-taken-out-in-hospital-8527836.html )

 

This seems to be the way these days with corporations and part of their ‘look at me I’m a corporate giant’ approach. Sorry but am I the only one to find this ‘we care for you’ approach lacking credibility? Now in order to avoid being misunderstood, I am all for sponsorship as well as the support of beneficial causes, but when the company tries to convince us that having smaller servings is somehow a plan for us consumers to be given the choice of reducing our calorie intake, that’s a little too much. Unilever has taken a similar approach in wanting to create emotional engagement, by their people first approach (http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/02/12/Unilever-India-021213.aspx).

 

To be honest I get a little uncomfortable when corporations decide to take over the area of social responsibility that should be the domain of governments and local councils. After all their main objective is to create profit for their shareholders. Let’s not forget that.

 

So I wouldn’t mind if there was some kind of legislation limiting what corporations say about themselves to us. Tobacco companies have standards about what they can and what they can’t say from an ethical and self regulatory sort of way – for the likes of Unilever, Coca cola and P&G it should probably be the same. 

 

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