While knocking back my morning protein shake (new year, new obsessive compulsive health regime) and scouring the web, I came across this piece on PR Week.
A new survey revealed 70 per cent of consumers questioned would avoid buying products if they did not like the parent company.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s an encouraging development. Not only will the brand come under scrutiny when the public are making purchasing decisions but so too will the organisation and, by extension, their corporate ethics.
That’s a step in the right direction because too often a strong brand has been the cloak for a multitude of sins.
Personally, I was disappointed when Innocent Smoothies sold a majority share to Coca Cola but perception of the brand doesn’t seem to have changed much in the aftermath.
It’s slightly disingenuous that a company with such a fluffy, cuddly image, founded amid the mud, hemp sandals and ponchos of a music festival should be run by a global leviathan, which has faced criticism for adverse health effects and exploitative labour practices.
But as much as my mental product blacklist takes ethics into consideration, there’s another major factor – advertising.
Rightly or wrongly, I have been dubbed the ‘angry man’ around the office but maybe my extreme intolerance for anything I find even mildly irritating is a contributory factor.
So no, I don’t want to sell you my car and even if you offered me two grand above the book price I still wouldn’t because of that instant headache of a song on your TV and radio adverts.
Similarly, if and when I sell my unwanted CDs and DVDs, I think I’ll just bang them on eBay rather than hand them over to some smug bird with an astonishingly appalling theme tune. Think on.