Does Business Growth Trump Social Responsibility?


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A TV ad for Plan B popped up last weekend – smack dab during date time. Wow, an emergency contraceptive ad at 10:20 on a Saturday night. Tell me that isn’t brilliant audience targeting. I saw it flash through on Saturday night during House – another sweet piece of profiling, IMHO. Hats off to the media dudes! I’m impressed.

I am also stunned at the complete lack of social responsibility.

Before you call me an old fogie, let me say that I understand we’re a much more open society than when I was a kid. Walk by a middle school at lunch break and you’ll figure that one out.

But – there is open and then there is irresponsible. Just like there is responsible success and profit at any cost.

Plan B is selling a product. But come on, there are other ways to sell it. This feel a little ‘predatory’ to me. Forget the condom or better yet have sex whenever and however you want because there’s a morning after pill to protect you? What is UP with that???

Where is the line of social responsibiity in marketing and sales?

There’s no better example about questionable responsbility than the tobacco industry – which continues to do what it does and now has a large and growing “teenage and under” market. That’s been going on forever thanks to a mega lobby.

And today there are even more products (and their ads) that can contribute to social issues. Medications for diseases we never even knew we had, liquor ads featuring kids partying and drinking. And how can you be a teenage boy and keep your wits about you with today’s 14 year old girls running around? Attire promoted by television and ads I might note.

As leaders, do we have a social responsibiity on how we promote our products?

Or is it every man, woman and teenager for himself?

So – back to my specific questiion about Plan B advertising on a Saturday night. Part of me says it’s everyone’s personal choice to act responsibly. And part of me asks, “Can your really ask teenage hormones to be responsible?” Come on…really?

If that were your daugher – how would you feel about her and the morning after pill? The alternative contraception that she found out about at 10:30 on a Saturday night??? Be honest….

If you don’t have a teenage daughter – I still want to know what you think.

Where do we draw the line???

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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