This article examines prominent cases from corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts by soda industry leaders PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and compares them with tobacco industry CSR campaigns. Researchers found that major soda manufacturers have recently employed elaborate, expensive, multinational CSR campaigns. The campaigns echo the tobacco industry’s use of CSR to focus responsibility on consumers rather than on the corporation, bolster the popularity of the companies and their products, and to prevent regulation. Unlike tobacco CSR campaigns, soda company CSR campaigns explicitly aim to increase sales, including among youth. Researchers also found that in response to health concerns about their products, soda companies appear to have launched CSR campaigns earlier than the tobacco industry did.
Published: June 2012
ID #: 68240
Journal: PLoS Med
Authors: Dorfman L, Cheyne A, Friedman LC, Wadud A, Gottlieb M
Examining Whether Cause Marketing by Soda Companies Mimics Tobacco-Industry Strategies to Thwart RegulationThe sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) industry is increasingly using corporate social responsibility campaigns—particularly cause marketing appeals via social media—to reach young people. The purpose of this study is to assess how the current cause marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns of the SSB industry compare to the strategies articulated and practiced by the tobacco industry. More
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