Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Corporate Social Responsibility: the new marketing tool

The European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing have published a report arguing that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns by the alcohol industry are part of their marketing strategies.

They say:

More and more companies are using CSR to transform their corporate identity to include a great amount of responsibility. This also holds true for the alcohol industry. In doing so these companies claim to feel responsible for informing their customers about the ‘responsible use’ of alcohol. The alcohol industry in some instances will even go so far as to reach out to minors, a target audience which they are not allowed to reach, in many cases due to alcohol marketing regulations. Even so, CSR practically has the same effects as advertisements, because it sheds a positive light on a brand or product. That is why CSR can also be seen as an expression of marketing.

They also suggest that while expensive educational campaigns are not effective in changing behaviour, and try to link the alcohol industry’s CSR efforts to those practiced by the tobacco industry in the past.

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