Corporate Social Responsibility

The New Whopper: Burger with a Side of Spies

Author Eric Schlosser editorializes about "the growing threat to civil liberties posed by corporate spying," citing Burger King Corporation's spying on the Student/Farmworker Alliance and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers through Cara Schaffer and her private security firm,

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Daughter Busts Dad: Burger King VP Caught Running Dirty Tricks Campaign

Amy Bennett Williams, following up on her previous article reports, "As the Coalition of Immokalee Workers prepares to deliver more than 60,000 petitions to Burger King headquarters in Miami today, the daughter of Burger King's vice-president Stephen Grover confirmed her father is responsible for online po

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Lawsuits, Light Cigarettes and Fear-Based Marketing Strategies

Fear-driven marketing gets resultsThe Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals missed a great opportunity this week to hold the tobacco industry accountable for one of its worst marketing tactics -- positioning cigarette brands in response to smokers' medical concerns. The April 7, 2008, issue of the New York Times has an article about the dismissal of a huge, class-action lawsuit against the tobacco industry that was brought by smokers of "light" cigarettes who claimed they were misled about the relative safety of "light" cigarettes compared to regular, "full flavor" cigarettes. The suit, and its dismissal by the court, brought to mind a little-recognized tobacco industry marketing survival tactic that weighs heavily on the public's perception of exactly what "light" means.

The tobacco industry has long had a remarkable ability to rescue itself from damaging health claims by turning allegations against its products into marketing opportunities. Inside the industry, the fact that cigarettes cause widespread illness and death is referred to as the "smoking and health" issue, or "S&H issue" for short. Tobacco marketers consider "S&H issues" to be little more than "external marketing forces" that require re-positioning of products, through changes in advertising copy strategy, so that smokers will get an illusion of safety from the dangers they perceive.

Lavishing Doctors with Drug Money

Medicines Australia (MA), the peak drug industry lobby group, has unveiled details of how much its 42 member companies (and one non-member) spent in the last half of 2007 on each one of over 14,000 events that were designed to promote their drugs to doctors.

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BP Greenwashes Tar Sands Exploitation

The oil giant BP has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on PR, greenwashing its image to be perceived as better than Exxon, Shell and others. But "a recent change in corporate policy threatens that green-friendly image," reports Michael Moreci.

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