Thursday, May 29

Adding Value: Print Shifts To Lead Generation


Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) is set to release a new study about the effectiveness of URLs being included in print magazines. The study confirms what many advertisers already know, magazine advertisements with URLs are more likely to drive readers to advertiser sites.

Specifically, MediaDailyNews said that home ads were 103 percent more likely, women’s services were 98 percent more likely, and travel categories were 186 percent more likely to drive consumers to Web sites. URLs on fashion ads also provided a 58 percent bump.

The study provides a solid case for integrated communication, with print advertisements serving as a lead generator for Web sites. Consumers are generally taken in by the singular message of the print advertisement and then explore Web sites for more options.

Consumer magazine Web sites are also showing strong traffic gains, up 11 percent over the first quarter of last year. With those Web sites averaging 70.7 million unique monthly visitors, well-planned media efforts can expand an advertiser’s total impression and total reach by reinforcing the print advertisements on magazine Web sites.

Both findings represent that the boundaries between traditional marketing and social media are not so opaque. What has changed seems to be that traditional advertising is shifting toward Internet lead generation as opposed to image advertising or direct sales.

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Monday, May 26

Sharing Silence: Memorial Day




A bugler blows taps. Memorial Day. Margraten Cemetery, Holland. 1945.

Friday, May 23

Advertising Connections: Branded Content


A little more than a year ago, I was the guest on the Recruiting Animal Show to talk about a subject that few people believed would ever happen. Branded content, a variation of income marketing as I sometimes call it, was already taking shape.

A few months later, Procter & Gamble made it sound more serious. And most recently, Digitas, which is part of the Publicis Groupe, formally became of one the newest entrants into the branded content game.

"It's more and more difficult for brands to get their messages in front of consumers," Mark Beeching, global chief creative officer at Digitas told AdAge. "But at the same time there are more opportunities for brands to create content."

Digitas punctuates a social media concept on its Web site. Beeching's quote even sounds like the message we share and shape every day.

"Instead of marketing at customers, our job in the digital age is to get customers working with us and for us,” he says. “And you do that by working with them and for them. This is where the new marketing energy and breakthrough results are to be found."

It’s refreshing to hear it in advertising, and underscores that agencies are more than ready to move forward into the social media space. Their approach? Here are the first three:

• new ways of listening harder to customers for actionable insights
• ideas that earn customer engagement through valuable and motivating experiences
• new ways of being responsive to customers across channels and over time

And to think all this time that some people thought advertising was a dying one-way communication art form. No. Like all art and media faced with new possibilities, opportunities, and technologies, it survives, adapts, and improves.

We look forward to seeing what they cook up next at Digitas. It's about time.

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Thursday, May 22

Tightening Reigns: Drug Advertising Gets Tougher

On the same day that Merck & Co. agreed to pay a $58 million settlement over the marketing of the painkiller Vioxx, Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak called on several drug companies to voluntarily curb advertisements targeting consumers.

"To date, we have not received adequate assurances that the leading pharmaceutical companies share our commitment to providing consumers with accurate information about drug therapies," Dingell, head of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The letter, sent to chief executives at Merck & Co. Inc., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Schering-Plough Corp, asks them to refrain from marketing products to consumers until certain studies are completed. It also calls for a moratorium on new drug advertising.
The letter must have dampened the message from Merck & Co., which maintains that the company “intended to fully comply with relevant regulations.”

"Merck remains committed to communications that help patients and their physicians choose medicines based on accurate, fair and balanced information," said Bruce Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck. "Today's agreement enables Merck to put this matter behind us and focus on what Merck does best, developing new medicines."

As part of Merck & Co.’s settlement, the company is already banned from ghostwriting articles or studies, deceptively using scientific data when marketing to doctors, and failing to disclose conflicts of interest involving its speakers. All new consumer-targeted television commercials must be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval, which all drug companies are required to do anyway, as of last month.

Meanwhile, Pfizer is still smarting after pulling its long-running advertising campaign that primarily employed Dr. Robert Jarvik as spokesperson for Lipitor. The advertisement was found to be misleading, according to the FDA.

Drug makers spend $30 billion a year marketing products in the United States, up from $10 billion in 1998. The FDA believes that most advertisements are going beyond persuading consumers by misleading them into believing that drugs are safer or more effective than proven.

With the continued poor choice of statements that some companies use in their news releases, it’s a wonder consumers trust them at all. To date, only a lone Johnson & Johnson spokesperson seemed to have it right. She said that they would cooperate with the committee. Perfect.

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Tuesday, May 20

Taking Aim: Nuts To Nielsen


It’s not a great year to be Nielsen. Every time the company attempts to move forward with Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement — A2/M2 — someone is ready to stop them: clients, competition, consumers.

For Project Apollo, a three-year joint project with Arbitron to monitor buying and radio-television habits of 5,000 households, it was clients. They did not want to pay for the results. Consumers weren’t thrilled with the number of tasks they were asked to perform either. It’s not as cool to be a Nielsen family anymore.

It might not be that cool to work at the company either. Jericho fans dumped 4,000 pounds of peanuts on the company’s property last week. It’s a statement to Nielsen that its small sampling sizes are costing consumers their favorite shows, even when they have enough fans to support a convention.

"It's an antiquated rating system that does not count 99.999 percent of actual TV viewers," Jonathan Whitesell, a Jericho fan and organizer of "Nuts To Nielsen!", told Tampa Tribune on May 10.

"We respect the passion of the 'Jericho' fans, but the decision to cancel the show was made by the network, not by Nielsen," spokesperson Gary Holmes said in a statement after receiving the nuts. "We measure programming that is viewed live, on a video recorder and on a PC, and we are confident that our ratings provide a fair measure of what people are viewing."

But fewer and fewer agree. Diane Mermigas, editor-at-large at MediaPost, recently called Nielsen the “about as inane an advertising value as can ever be justified” in her article about other initiatives to find effective measures. She’s not alone.

The differences between Nielsen ratings and other measures continue to grow, more and more shows are seeing 20 percent to 25 percent ratings gains when DVR viewing is calculated and some other are shows doubling their viewership online. It’s easier to get the numbers from TiVo or local cable companies that can count everyone.

A recent Universal McCann study supports how much the Internet has changed. More than 80 percent of the online population watches video clips online and their choice of viewing options goes well beyond YouTube. If you forget to set the DVR, there is always Hulu, CBS, or Apple iTunes.

It’s also one of the reasons CNN’s Veronica Del La Cruz asked how many people watch live news last Friday night. “Fifty percent? Maybe?”

We’re paying attention, she said, before outlining CNN’s iReport, which allows anyone to submit live reports and videos online. More than 900 of these videos have also been featured on CNN. The idea, which originally grew out of citizen submitted coverage of Hurricane Katrina, represents an opportunity for anyone to decide what might be newsworthy.

“Use the tools you find here to share and talk about the news of your world, whether that's video and photos of the events of your life, or your own take on what's making international headlines. Or, even better, a little bit of both.” — iReport.

What makes this significant for Nielsen is that if the company hopes to survive the long-term, it might consider that it has customers on two sides of the aisle. As consumers continue to lose faith in Nielsen, the more likely consumers will pass on being a Nielsen family. Not to mention, no one wants one company to collect all the data.

In fact, from what Whitesell and Jericho fans tell me, Nielsen is not to be trusted. And these fans are not alone.

Anyone who has a show facing cancellation (most recently, the show Moonlight) is continuing to send Nielsen a message — Nielsen might be confident in the rating system, but they are not. It’s a mounting public relations problem that Nielsen has yet to successfully address. For many consumers, Nielsen’s truncated research, not actual viewers, is the only reason their show was cancelled.

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Monday, May 19

Taking The Next Step: Michael Port


If you’re not familiar with Michael Port, he is a high profile business coach who has provided consulting to more than 20,000 business owners in the last two years. The Wall Street Journal calls him a “marketing guru” and his first book, Book Yourself Solid, was a national bestseller.

His newest book, Beyond Booked Solid, was released in April. I’ve had the galley on my desk for several few weeks now, meaning to review it. But as a member of the audience the book is intended for — someone who has a decent stable of loved clients but is sometimes short on time — I had to place the review on hold.

Ah yes, irony. Or maybe not. We’ll see.

“With every new success comes new challenges and this repeated cycle is a constant state of being for the entrepreneur. Each time we solve a problem, we begin a new game at a higher level, in which are facing new problems,” reads one of the opening paragraphs.

He’s right. People, especially entrepreneurs, who are not continually facing new challenges, are not moving forward. They might not even be entrepreneurs unless they are moving forward. It’s about that simple. And simple is one of the reasons I’ve always liked Port.

You only have to watch his dismantling the concept of the elevator speech on YouTube to immediately appreciate him. Elevator speeches sometimes circumvent one’s ability to learn something about a prospect. A better solution is to apply a thinking process over the quick fix. Sure, sometimes quick fixes and systems work. It depends on who you are and what you do. And this is where it gets tricky.

On one hand, Beyond Booked Solid is the book I needed ten years ago. That’s when I faced some of the challenges it addresses the most: a small business owner who wakes up to find that they put themselves on an imbalanced life treadmill, never thinking for a moment that there were other options (even though I had already been there before).

For the most part, it’s the by-product of someone who sells service. Sooner or later, there are not enough hours to sell, even with new staff and outsourcing.

This is where Port’s book works best. His book helps service professionals come to the conclusion that at the end of the day —whether they are a doctor, attorney, instructor, or other service provider — there are more options than simply filling every hour of every day, especially if it throws your life-work balance out of whack. What always seems to work better is saving some time to invest in building a better business model, the one that allows you more resources not less resources at the end of the day.

Port even tackles the excuses that might be standing in your way.
• My system is too complicated for me to explain to other people or write it down.
• I couldn’t trust anyone else to do it better than I do.
• I’ve had systems, and they’ve been a waste of time and I don’t want to spend time fixing them or developing new systems.


Personally, I’ve always been amazed by the number of people willing to put cannot in front of something that can be done. Even last week, I felt my skin crawl when a subcontractor said “I just can’t see it” to a viable communication tool. Right on. I get it.

I don’t see how someone could land on the moon with a computer less advanced than a pocket calculator, but they did it. Part of the success was developing a system (multiple systems), possibly more complicated than many business systems, and it got the job done. Then again, there is that tricky part.

As some people know, I’m not a big fan of systems. However, every now and again, I ask myself if whether I am against systems or the abuse of systems. For example, having an elevator speech was never meant to be a scripted memorization as much as an ability to define what you do. It also only works if you can make it work for you. Port did that. And that’s what makes systems work, provided there is a thinking process behind them.

There are several standout areas in the book, but I’ll stick to highlighting two. Port walks the reader through how to document processes and then provides several personal examples of how he applies it. Second, to illustrate possibilities, he provides some solid case studies as a guide, providing business owners some flexibility. The case studies are not as engaging as those in Accidental Branding by David Vinjamuri, but they serve their purpose.

Do you want to be a franchise? Create a product line? Purchase and rebrand businesses? Diversify your market presence? Etc. And because he asks the right questions, many people will find the right answers for themselves.

Of course, many will not want to do any of these things because not everyone is comfortable with the idea of transforming their service into a business model, which is why not everyone is an entrepreneur. As this is the case, I’m not sure Beyond Booked Solid will appeal to as large of an audience as Book Yourself Solid did. However, it’s nice to know that someone wrote a book that reminds professionals that there are many other options.

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Thursday, May 15

Working With Bloggers: On Being The Dog


Every time I teach social media, I always reference a cartoon once used in a PowerPoint presentation by Gary Gerdemann, director of account services for Peritus Public Relations. The cartoon features two dogs on the Internet with a hilarious caption.

“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

I felt a little like that yesterday, shortly after Veronica De La Cruz, Internet correspondent for CNN's flagship morning news program, American Morning, emailed me, asking which was the best number to reach me. As fate would have it, I was scheduled for a teleconference/online presentation with a major bankcard merchant services client and had to ask for an hour.

De La Cruz didn’t have an hour, but was still very interested in doing a segment on Bloggers Unite For Human Rights. So we did the next best thing. We emailed each other while I was on the teleconference.

I answered all of her questions and provided the most relevant links, like the Bloggers Unite page and Facebook event, where many bloggers are listing their entries for the campaign. And then she asked for a few bloggers who I knew were participating.

Well, you know how it goes. I’ve been tracking all the bloggers who said they would post today, but you never really know until they do. I needed something concrete, like a commitment. So I quickly posted a request on Twitter and BlogCatalog.

“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Since most who follow me on Twitter do know me, none thought twice. On BlogCatalog, which has approximately 150,000 members, that is not always the case. So while those who know me knew I wasn’t joking, a few members took me to task, saying my request was a “self-gratuitous” hoax. Eesh!

And that is the way it was for about an hour. De La Cruz on email, a major client on a telephone conference call, the online presentation on one browser, and a social network drama on the other browser, where I was being called a liar.

Thanks goodness I know enough bloggers! I sorted a list of twenty bloggers who were committed to posting or had already posted on the subject. I was able to source six mini-biographies and put them at the top. It wasn’t the best-written link list I’ve ever put together, but the job got done.

I started early this morning to finish my own post and then checked the discussion thread…

“It is now 9:56 am est. Did anybody see any of their blogs on CNN …” asked one doubting blogger.

As most journalists and public relations professionals know, there are no guarantees with the news. It’s easy to be bumped by anything "breaking" and several stories were bumped today. For awhile, I thought the Bloggers Unite segment might be bumped too as we were scanned the DVR for the segment.

Thank goodness for an email “ding.” I had missed another e-mail from De La Cruz. While it rarely happens, she had sent me a heads up on the airtime. That was enough for some bloggers, like Kevin, who pens Pointless Banter to find the clip.

His post, Never Again, was one of two blogs featured as an example. He wrote about the atrocities in Durfar. The other, was William McCamment’s Dead Rooster, which touched on the human rights issues in Myanmar. Both have subsequently posted the clip.

“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Huh. While the cartoon is still funny, there is another lesson to be learned about social media. Sometimes, on the Internet, nobody knows you’re NOT a dog, which is why I always teach that the source, not the medium, is what has credibility.

Special thanks to Veronica De La Cruz, CNN, BlogCatalog, Amnesty International USA, and all those bloggers who worked so hard to put their posts up early this morning. I really appreciate it.

So what’s next for Bloggers Unite? In the next few weeks, BlogCatalog and Copywrite, Ink., in cooperation with Amnesty International USA, will be selecting some posts for recognition. After these posts are announced, I will be profiling three of them right here on Copywrite, Ink.

It’s become an important part of Bloggers Unite not just because one good deed deserves another, but because it places weight behind the effort, ensuring that Bloggers Unite For Human Rights is not just a flash in the pan. It's something we could all think about more often.

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Blogging For Human Rights: Bloggers Unite


“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

Many people tend to take such words for granted, but no one does in Darfur. The concept of human rights is it as unfamiliar in western Sudan as is to those who are often the most shielded. There, human rights can easily be called non-existent.

For the last five years, millions of people have lost their lives, have been displaced from their communities, and have been stripped of their families, friends, and livelihoods. It happens daily as government forces and proxy militias practice genocide against these African communities.

The latest international relief effort seems minor when compared to the amount of aid needed. Approximately 3,700 troops from 22 EU member states were recently sent to protect refugees, civilians, and aid workers in the east of Chad. And while the United States is contributing millions of dollars for peacekeeping operations, the atrocities in Darfur have continued — enough so to permanently change the way its youngest citizens will ever see the world.

What you can do about it? In the United States, become aware about the problem and take action by contacting your congressmen. Ask them to take action. Others can ask their country to do the same.

“While the words might change from country to country and are sometimes taken for granted, human rights represent one of the universally agreed upon ideas — that all people are born with basic rights and freedoms that include life, liberty, and justice.“ — Bloggers Unite For Human Rights

The Internet can be used as a powerful communication and social awareness tool. And while there are a few people who suggest that writing about human rights or shining a light on places where the abuses against human rights is not enough (as thousands of bloggers are doing today), a few simple words can lead to action.

In fact, it is often this very reason that citizens who write on the Internet and journalists are frequently among the first to be silenced. It is also the reason that the right to freedom of speech and expression are guaranteed under international law, notably under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. People can now read the document in any language, but only as long as those people are free to share ideas as once put forth by U Thant, Third United Nations Secretary-General.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - This great and inspiring instrument was born of an increased sense of responsibility by the international community for the promotion and protection of man’s basic rights and freedoms. The world has come to a clear realization of the fact that freedom, justice and world peace can only be assured through the international promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms.” — U Thant

Does it really make a difference? We have to start somewhere.

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Thursday, May 8

Branding Dilemmas: Personal Vs. Public Brands


As social media adoption takes hold, some companies are starting to wonder: if employees need to step out of the shadows, to serve as transparent client advocates in a community relations role, where will it leave the company brand? Held hostage by individual employees with no loyalty to the company beyond an individual connection?

A few examples came to mind. And no, not just Robert Scoble.

When I bought my Infiniti a few years ago, I got a great deal. Of course, I didn’t want to purchase an Infiniti; I wanted a Volkswagen, but the only local dealer in town at the time wouldn’t order what I wanted. So I decided to shop around. The Infiniti seemed like a great car, but the sales associate clinched it.

He believed in the product. So much so that he said he wouldn’t work anywhere else. That is, until he moved to a Ford dealership a few months later. He sent me a card in the mail, asking me to file away his new card when I was ready to trade my car in.

Before anyone asks why I was surprised, I wasn’t. He was a car salesman after all (no offense intended to anyone working at a dealership). But even back then, I considered how interdependent brands can be: the manufacturer, the dealership, the sales manager, the sales associate, the guy who comes out at the end of the deal to recommend meteor insurance.

If these various brands don’t work together, there is a problem. Or, more specifically, if my loyalty is only with the salesman then the dealer that created the right environment might one day be cut out of the picture. I see it happen to agencies all the time — never mind the strategic and creative, accounts tend to stick to account executives (because that is where the relationship is established).

In a world of free agents, where does customer loyalty fall?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, the average person held 10.5 jobs between ages 18 to age 40 — 36 percent of these jobs were held for less than one year. Some recruiters tell me that they prefer candidates who have less than five years at a company. In the local Las Vegas market, the majority of people change jobs every two years.

With increased visibility and personal branding though, one might wonder what it means for companies. Are employers really expected to place an emphasis on individual brands that might not be there in two years?

And what if individual transparency amounts to a company negative? More often than not, the brand damage will stick to the company and not the individual (with some exceptions in public relations). This is exactly why some companies are finding it challenging to give employees too prominent of a voice in social media. In essence, some liken it to paying employees to elevate personal brands for the purpose of a better job offer.

I’m not one to subscribe to fear factor business decisions. It’s not in my nature. But some executives may raise a good question. And I don't think the answer has much to do about employee control as much as it does effective leadership.

In a world of interconnected brands, communication is key.

• Stronger internal branding programs to develop the right corporate culture
• Successfully establishing a core message to guide employees in one direction
• Succession planning, especially among employees engaged in social media or direct client relations

Social media doesn’t have to be a free-for-all. In many ways it very much the same as front-line communication and many companies seem to do pretty good with nurturing (not controlling) appropriate customer connections while protecting their brand.

If you ever stayed at a Four Seasons Hotel, you know what I mean. Apple retail stores have come a long way too. I’m a big fan of the Apple Store Genius Bar. Even one of our grocery stores seems to hit the mark.

In every case, these companies train employees to adopt certain company values. Consistent internal communication ensures they all understand the company's mission and message. And, they tend to establish more than one employee connection with the customer.

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Wednesday, May 7

Reaching Trends: Social Media Adoption


Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, released some compelling survey results. Its poll suggests: while not all companies are engaged in social media, media executives are focused on it.

Almost two-thirds of media executives (66 percent) surveyed see multiple-screen short-form content as the largest growth area over the next five years. Even better news for ad-supported online networks, almost the same amount said such content will continue to be the prevailing business model. (Partial Source: Broadcasting & Cable).

Fifty-two percent said digital will drive all media and may even replace traditional advertising in five years. Even more amazing, 68 percent said social media will continue to be the leading growth area.

“It is great news that media organizations are developing a consistent strategic view of the key growth areas, but execution is slow,” said Gavin Mann, digital media lead for Accenture’s Media & Entertainment practice. “There clearly remains a huge effort to put in place the necessary capabilities, and it is apparent that the size of the task is still not fully understood.”

The discrepancy between perception (that social media has yet to hit full adoption) and realty (adoption is hitting exponential growth of the adoption curve) is apparent. If large companies are not talking about adopting social media today, chances are that they are planning to launch a social media presence in the near future. So what’s the hold up?

Simple. While many executives are already participating in social media on various levels, many are unsure whether consumers are ready. However, as we recently saw in the Universal McCann report, consumers are more than ready — with over 80 percent of the U.S. population already participating in social media on some level.

In addition, most companies are moving into social media at a much faster pace than they have in other adoption cycles like cell phones and desktop computers. But social media, in particular, has set itself apart from other technology-driven innovations in that it has a concept-to-implementation rate of 90 days or less. That is must faster than most companies can operate.

“This is just the beginning for a rapidly changing landscape where the media content environment grows more fractious and the user gains more control and power,” said Mann. “Traditional, established content providers will have to adapt and develop new business and monetization models in order to keep revenue streams flowing.”

More than half (57 percent) of the respondents identified the rapid growth of user-generated content—which includes amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile-phone photography, wikis and social-media blogs—as one of the top three challenges they face today. In other words, media is embracing social media because they want to be part of it before it bypasses them all together.

Some of our own independent research supports the Accenture poll with one key exception. User-generated content will continue to expand, but consumers are likely to want more guidance and content support from the platforms company’s create. Only about one in four participants in the U.S. wants to be a content creator.

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Monday, May 5

Challenging Good Deeds: Fragile Brand Theory


Unilever, maker of several leading consumer products including Dove soap, recently learned that no good deed goes unpunished. They now know better than most: attempting to maintain a brand as a good corporate citizen and environmentally friendly company is a tricky business these days.

Despite scoring at the top of global ethical and sustainability indexes during the last year, and being considered a company that takes environmental issues seriously, Unilever continues to be the target of Greenpeace because it buys palm oil from other companies that are destroying the rainforest, which is also endangering Indonesian orangutans.

Unilever is not alone. According to Greenpeace, the world's largest food, cosmetic, and biofuel companies are driving the wholesale destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands through growing palm oil consumption. In a report, Greenpeace predicts the demand for palm oil will double by 2030.

For an Advertising Age article, Greenpeace said it did not single out Unilever because of its high-profile environmental and social stances, but added that there “was an element of greenwash there.” In fact, he said, Proctor & Gamble and Nestle may be the next targets.

”Most activists of whatever persuasion on whatever issue tend to believe that they get most traction (and news coverage) by aiming at the biggest name rather than the biggest challenge," a Unilever spokeswoman e-mailed Advertising Age. "In most instances, it seems that the biggest 'name' tends to be the one that has done the most to attack the ... problem."

From a communication perspective, the spokesperson’s e-mail interested us the most because it supports our fragile brand theory, which suggests: the further perception travels from reality or the more unsustainable it might be, the greater the potential for brand damage. Overreach too much and, eventually, the brand might face total collapse.

It doesn't always matter that there are companies with much more environmentally or socially deplorable practices than Unilever. However, those companies do not receive a brand boost from the perception that they might be green.

So maybe it’s not always that activists are after the biggest names. They are after the biggest contrasts between perception and reality.

Our environmental policy sets out our commitment to meet the needs of consumers and customers in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner, through continuous improvements in environmental performance. — Unilever

In reading through the company’s environmental policy, it does seem to achieve some goals (packaging reduction, for example) better than others. Specifically, the policy states that the company aims to “ensure the safety of its products and operations for the environment” and will be “exercising the same concern for the environment wherever we operate.” If they are enabling foreign suppliers to do the opposite, then Unilever is not meeting those standards. That’s a problem, but not only in action.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not making a case against Unilever as much as I am making a case for communicators to resist messages that overreach. The truth is that relatively few companies (and even fewer people) can produce a perfect environmental scorecard.

All I'm suggesting is that we don't claim to be avid recyclers if we’re sharp on putting newspapers in the bin but shoddy on plastic bottles (because they have to be rinsed out). Authenticity simply suggests that we stop at touting our efforts at paper products if that is the case.

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