I wrote recently about Pepsi and Waste Management’s big thrust into kiosk recycling with points awarded to those who deposit their trash. My post was on the strength of the media relations results I saw supporting the launch strategy; impressive. This week’s newly designed and jam-packed Bloomberg BusinessWeek also boasted a story hit for the partnership’s new recycling program – another huge win for public relations.
On the flip side, my blog post sparked a comment that Pepsi was contributing to obesity in the U.S.; the writer was none too happy with my “good job, Pepsi marketing public relations kudos.”
He got me thinking.
When I saw the April Fast Company “Made to Stick” column written by Dan Heath and Chip Heath, it was time to put these brain spurts into a semblance of something. The Heaths suggested soda pop may be the next venue for health wars. Gotta love Fast Company headlines that tell the whole story, “After seeing a strikingly effective ad campaign, (the Heaths) wonder whether sodas will be the next cigarettes.”
Back in my Chicago agency days, I represented the National Association of Concessionaires when the Center for Science in the Public Interest attacked the food chain one fat gram after another. The NAC was targeted for theater popcorn – the highly salted, loaded-with-butter, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen snack. Chinese food was next in line.
Where’s corporate responsibility in this world? Is it a company’s mission to ensure the products it manufactures are healthy, low-fat, low-sugar and contribute to the overall wellness of the nation? Or, isn’t it?
How about the other factor in this equation = you + me. What we place in our mouth has a lot to do with choice. Whether we elect to live life on the couch is all about self-accountability. Is it a corporation’s business to ensure my healthy future or should I be accountable, too?
(P.S. In my late-night reading, I tore from the May Scientific American a Perspectives column, “Underage, Overweight; The federal government needs to halt the marketing of unhealthy foods to kids.”
It’s a can of worms, Folks; you be the judge.
(Thanks to Michelle Hellyar for her low- calorie, low- sugar, low-fat brain power on this.)