Corporate Social Responsibility

BP: Mitigating Exposure, Controlling the Response and Making Edward Bernays Proud!

British Petroleum has stooped to a new low, if that's at all possible. As if spewing over 80 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico were not a sufficiently criminal activity, they are now attempting a cover-up and have facilitated, working alongside the police of New Orleans, a blockade of sorts of hard-hitting journalists from getting their hands on what's actually taking place in the ravaged Big Easy. It is truly a sham of epic proportions. And now, word of a big hurricane with winds of up to 90 MPH rolling into town has surfaced. Trouble, it appears, has just begun in the Bayou.

Mitigating the Exposure

Mother Jones, known for hard-hitting, deep-digging, no-holds-barred journalism, has approached coverage of the on-going and seemingly perpetual BP oil spill with the same vigor as usual in its reporting. Unfortunately, they've got some competition, or as astronaut Jack Swigert of Apollo 13 once said before going down, "Houston, we've had a problem!" The problem? BP is doing everything in its power to stop journalists dead in their tracks and scare them away from exposing their crime of poisoning the Gulf.

Timberland Sweats For a Change

Back in September 2007 Jeffrey Swartz, the CEO of the outdoor wear company Timberland, explained on a conference call said that he didn't want the company's latest corporate social responsibility (CSR) report to come across as "corporate cologne." Swartz said that he wanted to "seduce consumers to care." Jeffrey Ballinger, a labor rights and anti-sweatshops advocate, took up the challenge and b

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Junk Food Industry Applies Tobacco's PR Strategies

The $70 billion Australian junk food industry is now applying PR strategies originally developed by the tobacco industry in a bid to avoid government regulation. Australia's federal government is readying a report about reducing obesity, which could lead to higher taxes on unhealthy foods and a ban on junk food advertising.

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The Hand That Gives Also Takes Away

The Australian logging company Gunns is reviewing its corporate sponsorships as it struggles to deal with a dramatic slump in sales of woodchips to Japanese customers. In an interview, the company's new chief executive, Greg L'Estrange, flagged that the company would be cutting back its sponsorships. "We haven't finished our discussions but certainly you would say our appetite for some of these areas has diminished. Life is a two-way street.

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Developer's Casino in a Velvet Glove

J. Scott Trubey reports that documents, obtained under Georgia's freedom of information laws, revealed that Fleishman-Hillard (F-H) had been hired by Georgia Lottery to sell the concept of the state's first casino to legislators, business leaders and the public. Underground Atlanta, a shopping complex, was mentioned as a possible site for the introduction of a casino.

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Thank You for Using Our [Fill in Name of Dangerous Product Here]

Happy hourThe Australian alcohol industry is taking a leaf from the tobacco industry and has promised to voluntarily devote ten percent of its advertising space to promoting web sites that discourage binge drinking, particularly among youth.

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Big Oil's Charm Offensive

"The world's best-known oil companies are pouring on the charm as they get ready this week to parade another round of fat profits before a public that is feeling suddenly poorer. The spotlight will shine on Exxon on Thursday and Chevron on Friday. Such advertising makes sense after a summer with oil at nearly $150 a barrel and a fall likely to bring renewed scrutiny of their investments and tax breaks.

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