Corporate Social Responsibility

Fire-Safe Cigarette Laws Don't Light Any Fires Under Tobacco Companies

fireMost people don't know it, but cigarettes sold in some states are now more dangerous than ones sold in other states. Deaths and damage from cigarette-caused fires have motivated New York, Vermont, California and other states to enact laws in recent years requiring that only fire-safe cigarettes be sold in their states.

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McDeaths

An extract from Bob Burton's Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry.

Cover of Inside Spin: The dark underbelly of the PR industryBrian Page, a 42-year-old railway worker, had been busy before Easter 1992 buying furniture for a house he had just moved into at Mt Pritchard, a south-western Sydney suburb. On their way home, his daughter Melissa wanted to stop at McDonald's in Fairfield for lunch. Shortly after returning home, Brian Page began vomiting and had diarrhoea. As Page's symptoms were initially indistinguishable from a bout of the flu, his doctor gave him a medical certificate and sent him home. Page took to bed for the next three days but on the fourth day went back to work, even though he wasn't feeling well. His boss noticed that Page was unable to write properly and seemed disoriented and confused by his work. He was so concerned about Page that he called a taxi and sent him home, but by then Page recognised something was seriously wrong and went straight to Liverpool Hospital. What was unknown to Page and his doctor was that he had been exposed to Legionella bacteria. If detected early, Legionnaires disease can be treated with antibiotics. Untreated, it can be a killer. Two days after being admitted to the intensive care unit of Liverpool Hospital, Page died. On what would have been his 43rd birthday, more than 100 family and friends attended his funeral.14

Featured Participatory Project: Eli Lilly's Contributions to Patient and Other Groups

In May of this year, the drug company Eli Lilly announced that it would post details of "all educational grant funding and other monetary contributions provided to U.S.-based organizations" into an online database. Tucked away amongst the numerous grants made in the first six months of 2007 are details of funds provided to patient groups, various research centres and a sprinkling of political groups.

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Wikis Prove Tricky for PR Firms

Thanks to WikiScanner, more PR firms are coming under fire for making anonymous edits to Wikipedia that favored their clients. "Freud Communications' London office was caught making edits" on articles about Pizza Hut and Carphone Warehouse, reports PR Week.

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Fake Green Certification Backfires

Sustainable forest fibreThe Australian supermarket company Woolworths has withdrawn a range of tissue products after being outed by an anonymous blogger for using a "Sustainable Forest Fibre" logo on products sourced from a notorious Indonesian forestry company.

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Beyond Petroleum, But Still Big on Ammonia and Soot

BP advertisement from 2004The oil and energy company BP recently received "a permit from the state of Indiana to dump more toxic discharges from its Whiting, Ind., refinery into Lake Michigan," reports Advertising Age. The permit, "which allows BP to dump 54% more ammonia and 35% more suspended solids" in the Great Lake, has "enraged" Chicago officials.

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Rendition Lawsuit Against Boeing Subsidiary Grows

A lawsuit against airservices company Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., has been re-filed to include two more victims of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's extraordinary rendition program. In December 2002, Bisher al-Rawi was kidnapped from Gambia and flown to a secret U.S.

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McDonald's Advised to Fight or Fess Up

McDonald's Golden ArchesMcDonald's has been criticized by PR professionals for its response to the recent study by Stanford University School of Medicine and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital which found that young children preferred foods associated with the company's packaging.

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