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The Forum > Article Comments > Caring big business or a wolf in sheepís clothing? > Comments

Caring big business or a wolf in sheepís clothing? : Comments

By Dayna Simpson, published 10/1/2005

Dayna Simpson argues that corporate philanthropy must not be allowed to become an opportunistic branding opportunity.

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Dayna Simpson should be in the final stages of PhD research into seeing the worst in people (in this case corporate people).

It's true private citizens and corporations led the charge on sending assistance to earthquake-tidal wave survivors and their shattered communities following the devastating events of Dec 26 and that in some respects governments have played catch-up.

But if I were a bereaved-injured-homeless-destitute Acehnese, I wouldn't give a damn whose logo was on the bottle of water or soft drink I was given - though I might ponder the issue of whether the faux-morality of the arguments put forward by western PhD researchers about corporate greed risks placing further limits on free capital investment flows and thus the sustained long-term economic growth needed to provide paid employment opportunities and therefore the opportunity to enjoy the product by choice rather than necessity met by kind donation.
Posted by Scribe, Monday, 10 January 2005 4:02:03 PM
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It doesn't matter why big business are giving the money. The fact is they are. It really is impossible for them to do anything right isn't it?

Dayna, are you looking at this from purely an academic perspective or are you really criticizing business for donating money? It just seems incredible to me that someone could be saying this rubbish in a critical manner.

Corporate social responsibility is making sure the public are informed about their products and services and that all dealings with the public are honest. That's about it, that's your PhD done for you there. Anything else business does for the communities they trade in (apart from providing jobs and tax income) is a bonus.

What's the motivation for anyone who donates money to the disaster? At the end of the day it's only to make ourselves feel better, to feel that we've done something. Purely selfish reasons and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Posted by bozzie, Monday, 10 January 2005 6:54:28 PM
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Bozzie, methinks you have the wrong end of the corporate stick here. "Corporate social responsibility is making sure the public are informed aboutt their products and services" ???

That aint corporate responsibility, that's called advertising. And advertising is a means of increasing exposure, hence profits.

Dayna is correct in her analysis. Corporations don't do anything unless there is something in it for them. they are not moral beings with the desire to do good.

Sorry, bozzie, but they really are just in it for the money!

Take a look at the 3 part series on SBS 'The Corporation'. Part 2 is on this week. It may broaden your opinion a little more.
Posted by oceangrrl, Monday, 10 January 2005 9:49:08 PM
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Seems we are all equally guilty of Conspicuous Compassion lately. Corporate participation can be no worse. I agree with Scribe, that to the victims of tsunami, a donation is a donation, no matter how the boxes are labelled. I feel I understand the arguments Dayna is putting forward, but feel that any commercial threat posed by such corporate advertising is dwarfed by the perceived threat of Christian charities such as Word Vision, converting Muslims to Christianity. In fact, clear warnings against such practise have already been made.

People like oceangrrl should know better than to look a gift-horse in the mouth. But then again, itís consistency with feminist theory, perhaps makes it precisely so.
Posted by Seeker, Monday, 10 January 2005 10:44:23 PM
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Dayna, what a sad person you are. You need to get your perspective above the muddy surrounds of your thought process. I know many businesses who support football and other teams with little hope of recovering their money, they do it because they personally want to be involved. Many others make contributions to almost every facet of community life including looking after their staff members in times of trouble. If you haven't yet seen this you aren't very advanced in your progress toward a PhD. One would hope that you learn to be a bit more realistic and gain a more balance as you progress through your life.

One day it might be you who is in desperate trouble and you will then find that this community including large and small business owners have great and unconditional generosity. Take the word of someone who has been there.

Tom
Posted by Tom, Tuesday, 11 January 2005 9:48:26 AM
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Dayna, I have to agree with scribe and Tom here. It really makes me wonder what your soon to be published PhD is going to say about CSR.

In three years of working with companies on CSR, I have not come across one where the CSR people even speak to the marketing department. So to allege that all this corporate giving to the tsunami appeal is a cynical marketing plot is a bit rich by a long shot. Undoubtedly there is competition for the 'most headline grabbing' contributions, but what exactly is wrong with that?
Posted by planius, Tuesday, 11 January 2005 2:25:47 PM
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