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Money and Motivation

What do firms mean when they talk Coprorate Social Responsibility? Peter Christopherson attended a MarketingSociety event to find out.

The Marketing Society's evening event in July focused on what businesses and charities can learn from each other about money and motivation.

Offered the choice of working for love or money, I suspect most of us would opt for the chance of finding the perfect combination — or maybe the chaps would go for emulating Sven-Göran Eriksson and add football as well.

The 'blurb' promised an evening of learning from two leaders in the field that attendees could take back and apply to their own businesses. They were Andrew Nebel, UK director, Barnardo’s marketing and communications director and Andy Cosslet, managing director EMEA of Cadbury Schweppes.

The support act consisted of a panel including The Rt Hon Virginia Bottomley, once John Major's chief nanny for the Health Service, now working in the private sector hunting heads for Odgers Ray and Berndtson's Not-For-Profit sector clients; Sue Adkins, director of Business in the Community and Sylvie Barr, head of marketing for Cafédirect, standard-bearer for the Fairtrade mark in the UK.

Nebel’s opening presentation was long on statistics, based on somewhat dated research about charity giving and propensity to purchase, and short on real learning, though we did get definitions of CSR and Cause-related marketing, as well as the exhortation to enjoy it (money that is) and “do some good for each other in the process”.

Cosslet shared Cadbury-Schweppes’ ‘Five Pillars of CSR’, thankfully without defining it again, its ‘Five Goals and Ten Priorities’. We learned that nowadays it expects criticism and is happy to deal with it, but was amply surprised by the amount of media flak it took over its ‘Get Active’ campaign last year. Considering Cadbury's is a British company with one of the best corporate responsibility records, it was interesting to see on how many fronts it’s currently fighting in an attempt to maintain its good reputation.

Regrettably the panel speakers were given a few scant minutes to make their points before the debate was opened up to the floor. It would have been good to hear a bit more from Sylvie Barr, the current Marketer of the Year. In turn Sue was exhausting, Sylvie engaging and Virginia amusing, particularly as her love of politics has now been superseded by the lure of lucre.

Consultancies of various types made up around half the audience, with charities and brands/corporates a further 37%. Of the charities, NSPCC, WWF and Macmillan Cancer Relief were represented and on the client-side Boots, Nestlé and Ben & Jerry's.

The underlying message, reinforced by all the speakers, was that there needs to be real recognition of what all parties are trying to achieve when business engages with charity in order to create a 'win-win' situation.

 

Peter Christopherson
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