The Edelman PR firm recently conducted a survey to find out what keeps consumers loyal to a name brand in challenging economic times. They found that "the trick is to forge a 'double-value' for a product by developing a tie-in to a social cause." Cause-related marketing can be a powerful marketing technique. The environment, health, poverty and education were the top causes likely to inspire consumer loyalty.
You've heard the term "greenwashing." It refers to corporations that try to appear "green" without reducing their negative impact on the environment.
Since 2002, the group Breast Cancer Action has promoted its "Think Before You Pink" campaign. It's fighting "pinkwashing," which is when corporations try to boost sales by associating their products with the fight against breast cancer. Pinkwashing is a form of slacktivism -- a campaign that makes people feel like they're helping solve a problem, while they're actually doing more to boost corporate profits. Pinkwashing has been around for a while, but is now reaching almost unbelievable levels.
Recently while browsing the Web I came across UrbanDictionary.com, which is sort of a wiki of contemporary slang. I found some of the newer words listed there amusing, like "hobosexual" (the opposite of metrosexual; someone who cares little about their looks), "consumerican," ("a particularly American brand of consumerism"), and "wikidemia" ("an academic work passed off as scholarly yet researched entirely on Wikipedia").
In early April, the global oil company Chevron announced that it has entered into a five-year deal with the foundation created by the professional golfer, Tiger Woods. Woods proclaimed that "Chevron has a track record and a commitment to bettering the communities where they operate." Chevron's record, such as its partnership with the Burmese military dictatorship on the Yandana gas pipeline is "certainly nothing with which Woods should want his name attached," writes Dave Zirin in The Nation.
When a patient checks into a hospital or goes to see a doctor, they are typically handed a booklet called "Notice of Privacy Practices" and are asked to sign a document acknowledging that they received the information. Patients assume that these "privacy practices" are in place to protect their personal information and that doctors and hospitals will keep their information in strictest confidence.