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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Ethical Dilemma of Accepting Tainted Donations

Cause marketers and others have made much of the recent cause marketing campaign by KFC benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

My old pal Joe Waters at the Boston Medical Center and his many commenters have stated very well the ethical dilemma that charities can face in forging cause marketing relationships.

But, of course, the charititable fundraising business as a whole is fraught with ethical challenges.

Here’s a particularly challenging and recent one from the UK that has come to my attention.

Reginald Forester-Smith was a ‘photographer to the stars’ and royalty in the United Kingdom the 1970s.

In 1999 he was tried, convicted and jailed for repeatedly raping his young daughter over an 18-year-period. He spent eight years in prison. At least two other girls came forward to say that Forester-Smith had sexually abused them as well. His daughter, now aged 42, published a book about her experience in 2002.

Forester-Smith served his time and died last July at the age of 77. His wife, Sheena…

Cause Marketing with Your CEO

Until I saw the free standing insert (FSI) on the left from Marcal Manufacturing on Sunday, I could count on one hand the number of times I’d seen a CEO featured in a cause marketing type ad. Heck, I could count it on one finger.

That CEO was the wonderfully avuncular Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s as well as its long-time pitchman. Thomas died in 2002 at the age 69.

Thomas was famously adopted as a child. As an adult he started the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which Wendy's sponsored. Wendy’s continues to support the foundation… along with other charities… with cause marketing initiatives and corporate giving.

Now Marcal is using its CEO in a cause marketing type appeal. Since 1950 Marcal has made paper products from recycled paper. It goes without saying that Marcal was decades ahead of its time. Marcal was purchased in 2008 by a private equity outfit and Tim Spring, the man in the ad, was installed as CEO.

Spring has extensive experience in consumer package goods, incl…

Cause Marketing With the Highly Trusted

Buried well into a recent Pew Research Center survey was the graph to the left which illustrated that while the American public has deep distrust of government, there are institutions they still do trust. And that has resonance for nonprofit cause marketers.

That most-trusted institution is small business.

At 71 percent favorable ratings, small business has higher positives than Congress (24%), labor unions (32%), the President (45%), colleges and universities (61%), and churches and religious organizations (63%).

What does this mean to nonprofit cause marketers?

We’ve long known that the cause marketing between causes and sponsors that are both highly regarded tend to have the best results. Likewise, if the sponsor is more highly regarded than the cause, the cause tends to benefit more from the relationship than the sponsor.

And vice versa.

Of course small business is not all positives for nonprofit cause marketers. Small businesses are diffuse, often underfunded, and usually very local.

To…

'Cause-nitive Dissonance,' Bad Postioning or Both in KFC Cause Marketing Campaign?

Through May 9, 2010 each bucket of specially-marked KFC chicken sold generates a $.50 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The KFC bucket also invites you to visit bucketsforthecure.com to make an additional donation.

As the website URL suggests, the campaign sports the unwieldy name of 'Buckets for the Cure."

The redoubtable Scotty Henderson, and many others, have raised the issue of "cause-nitive dissonance,' to coin a term.

That is whether fried food should be supporting breast cancer research, since research has shown obesity be a risk-factor for breast cancer and since fried chicken is high in fat. Many, many others, including the Wall Street Journal, have weighed in.

This issue of 'tainted money' is one I've raised more than once and can appreciate.

Back in 2007 Newsweek reporter Jessica Bennett asked me, "Advertising is obviously not about morals. But isn't there a moral conflict in the idea that cause marketing is tapping into consumption …

Dove’s Cause Marketing of Self Esteem, Part II

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty was launched in September 2004 on the heels of global study commissioned by Unilever called ‘The Real Truth about Beauty.’

Among the findings was that a scant 2 percent of all women defined themselves as beautiful. Better than 3/4th (81%) strongly agreed with the statement “The media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t achieve.”

The Campaign for Real Beauty launched with an ad showing six ordinary woman (that is, non-models) flaunting their curves in white underwear. Many similar ads followed.

It proved to be an influential campaign. In 2006 Spain outlawed overly thin models on runways. In 2009 Glamour not once but twice featured model Lizzi Miller, who at 5’11” 185lbs confidently sported a small paunch!

The campaign continues, but to make best use of an existing relationship with the Girl Scouts of the USA, Unilever started the Dove Self Esteem Fund in 2006.

The initial cause marketing effort was more PR than marketin…