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Trust

Do brands really need a “social purpose” to do good?

The researchers at professional services firm EY reveal four fifths (82%) of us believe a brand’s values must include a clear purpose. This purpose is critical in deciding whether or not we will buy from them.

The difficulty with this conclusion, and many like it, is that what people mean by purpose can be misunderstood, and such analysis can be overly simplistic and too easily miss a point. Continue reading “Do brands really need a “social purpose” to do good?”

Toxic tax reform: kicking the can down the road

The sad irony of David Cameron’s run in on his taxes is that it makes it less, not more, likely that anyone will find the political courage to address the problem of an outdated international tax system. Continue reading “Toxic tax reform: kicking the can down the road”

Economic impact, absurdity and advertising

Sometimes you need to be able to put a value on what you do. It may be a financial value. It may be a social good. It may be something else. Continue reading “Economic impact, absurdity and advertising”

People v politicians: can anything rein in the spin?

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object has detained philosophers for generations.  In the next few days we might be about to find out, thanks to the UK election.

One of the overriding social and business themes since the global financial meltdown has been the rise of consumer power. Continue reading “People v politicians: can anything rein in the spin?”

Apologies matter

This first appeared in CorpComms, November/December 2013

Sorry shouldn’t be the last thing you say in a crisis

1.     Don’t be afraid of saying sorry. In recent years we’ve seen a near epidemic of corporate and institutional scandals.  It has been remarkable how difficult it has been for businesses simply to say they are sorry when things go awry. If things go wrong, don’t be afraid of apologising Continue reading “Apologies matter”

The payday lenders we love to hate

This first ran in the Huffington Post.

The payday lenders are front and central once again.  After his assault on the energy companies Ed Miliband has switched his attention to another group with few friends and declared tax war on payday lenders.

Wonga is at times a little like an embarrassing relative.  It can make us cringe but secretly perhaps we’re all glad it’s there. Continue reading “The payday lenders we love to hate”

Brands in the spotlight: managing reputation in the face of greater consumer accountability

Two-minute summary

Brands in the spotlight

From horse meat to tax evasion to energy price rises, consumer trust in corporate institutions has been rocked by scandal after scandal. Continue reading “Brands in the spotlight: managing reputation in the face of greater consumer accountability”

UK Uncut protests about tax avoidance

In December 2012, the question of what global businesses should pay in local tax burst onto our screens.

UK Uncut went on the offensive. Starbucks misread the public mood.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee sharpened its knives.

This is how the BBC News reported the stand off.

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