The Hidden Costs Of Cause Marketing

SSIR ImageBy Angela M. Eikenberry

From pink ribbons to Product Red, cause marketing adroitly serves two masters, earning profits for corporations while raising funds for charities. Yet the short-term benefits of cause marketing-also known as consumption philanthropy-belie its long-term costs. These hidden costs include individualizing solutions to collective problems; replacing virtuous action with mindless buying; and hiding how markets create many social problems in the first place.

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