Activist Wednesday: Is Boycotting Our Secret Weapon?
Posted May 22, 2013on:
Many apologies, but this is going to be a short post today. I’ve got so many “deep thoughts” in my head that I can’t focus on just one. (I keep thinking of Prolix’ question, “What do you do?” and I definitely want to write about that, but I need to think about it some more first!) So instead of posting something long and deep, I’m going to go with brevity being the soul of, er, something or other.
I noticed an interesting story in USA Today about boycotting. An international survey of people in 10 countries, has found that a very large percentage of the people polled are in favor of it, and over half have already done it.
Nine out of 10 consumers say they would boycott companies that are being irresponsible, according to an international “corporate social responsibility” report being released Wednesday.
And it’s more than theoretical exercise: More than half of consumers in 10 countries say they have refused to buy a product in the past year because of what they saw as bad corporate behavior, according to the report by marketing and public relations agency Cone Communications, which has specialties in cause marketing and corporate social responsibility.
That might not bode well for Gap, Wal-Mart and other U.S. retailers that so far have not signed a labor-backed plan to improve factory safety while they work on alternative plans. Pressure for a factory safety agreement intensified after a factory in Bangladesh making clothes for major retailers collapsed in April, killing 1,127 workers.
Cone says that nearly 90% of consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding where to shop and that it is important for retailers to communicate about how products are made. The report says that a growing concern for consumers in the survey was economic development — 38% cited it as their top concern, up 4 percentage points since 2011 — followed by human rights, poverty and hunger.
The report also shows, however, that though consumers may boycott companies they see as guilty of bad behavior, they will only favor one they see as better-behaving if the price and quality of its products are about the same.
So tell me, Widdershins – have you ever boycotted a company? If so, which one, and why? Maybe we should all be doing the same.
This is an open thread.
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