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Sunday 13th of June 2010
June 11, 2010    

“Ethical” brands caught out by Facebook and Twitter

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by David Masters

Businesses claiming to be socially responsible must match their words with action or risk being shunned by consumers, according to a new report published yesterday.

The Who Cares Wins report by Havas Worldwide found many business leaders are oblivious to the potential impact of social media on how consumers evaluate brands claiming to be ethical.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of adults who use social media such as Twitter and Facebook are willing to use the new technology to hit out at brands and companies.

Despite this, 59% of business leaders believe social media will have a marginal or no impact on business reputation over the next five years.

David Jones, Havas Worldwide chief executive, said businesses ignore the potential impact of social media at their peril.

“The caring corporation is the business model of the future and it’s one where doing well and doing good are one and the same,” he said.

“Business leaders need to wake up to the growing power of social media as a game changer and the emerging demand from consumers for ethically responsible brands.”

Over three quarters of business leaders polled by Havas said corporate responsibility is a necessary business cost.

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