‘Crocodile Tears’See all questions about commodity
What another interesting question this is- and a fascinating dilemma too- one which I'm not sure I've got the answer to.
I suppose, a company should be rewarded for their fair ethics- not testing on animals, keeping good worker rights throughout the supply chain and so on. It's a suprisingly rare thing for companies to achieve. However, using a controversial celebrity/company to face the brand can certainly erode some of this ethical trust a brand creates- are they undermining their beliefs for profits and sales?
It's difficult, because the ethical idealist within me says no, that they shouldn't be supported. But I wonder if I'm being a hypocrite, or unrealistic. In the business world, not getting the best sales could be detrimental to the original brand/companies survival, and if they're focusing on ethics- a more generally expensive ideal, then is it fair to stop supporting them economically? The example that springs to my mind is the facing of Scarlett Johansson and 'Soda-stream'- though the issue here was somewhat the other way round; Soda Stream were behaving unethically in the face of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and Scarlett, a previous ambassador for Oxfam 'sold her ethical stance' and became the face of soda-stream. Perhaps placing blame or judgement on a particular 'face' is unfair- do they become the scapegoat of a much greater ethical dilemma which we're all in part responsible for? Can the company who has good ethics be blamed for trying to survive in the cut throat market of commercialism and sales?
But then I think about it more. Bodyshop for example, a company prided for its supposed 'ethical' stance and environmental policies is owned by Loreal- whose ethics are far, far from ideal. I think this might be enough to stop me wanting to shop there.
I suppose the degree of my 'support' for a company would depend on how the celebrity/brand facing them was controversial. Was it for a deep-seated ethical reason- in which case- i.e.- the celebrity has chopped down a rainforest/exploited labour/been involved in fur trade etc., perhaps it's fair to reduce the ethical rating an individual or group gives the original company. But if it's simply for a non ethical, personal reason that not everyone's their greatest fan, then perhaps to stop supporting the ethical company is unfair.
What do you think? It's definitely a conversation starter!!