Back in September 2007 Jeffrey Swartz, the CEO of the outdoor wear company Timberland, explained on a conference call said that he didn't want the company's latest corporate social responsibility (CSR) report to come across as "corporate cologne." Swartz said that he wanted to "seduce consumers to care." Jeffrey Ballinger, a labor rights and anti-sweatshops advocate, took up the challenge and began posting comments on the "Earthkeeper" section of the company's website about labor standards in Thailand, where the company sources its boots from. "So, I just started plunking things down on their web page ... And I can't get a straight answer,” he told Corporate Crime Reporter. Following publicity about his concerns, Timberland's Vice-President of CSR, Gordon Peterson, promised to respond to each specific issue and identify "gaps" between Ballinger's "view of what should happen, and our view of what we are capable of achieving."
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