The Dark Side

Bitter Sweet

Green & Blacks falls to Cadbury, Zac Goldsmith editor of The Ecologist poses with David Cameron on his first day and now Sir Bob Geldof is to advise the Conservatives on global poverty.

Why do I find these developments disturbing, like my hero’s have gone to the other side?

Will Cadbury’s trash the ethical principals of Green & Blacks chocolate? My guess is no simply because as a brand it has come to represent something well beyond a great taste. It stands for trade justice and organic ingredients, a safe and ethical purchase. In acquiring Green & Blacks, Cadbury Schweppes has not only captured the fastest growing confectionery but also given a tarnished portfolio a new lick of green gloss. Nestle have just created their own ‘ethical’ coffee brand from scratch to cash in on the boom in conscious consumer sales.
This is where the hypocrisy catches. I have no doubt that when a corporation has a mixed portfolio it will continue to source ingredients for it’s mainstream products without the consciousness reserved for its new ethical lines. In marketing terms ‘ethical’ is just another ‘market segment’ and the ‘ethical shopper’ another target market. Any idea that an ethical brand will transform the heart of the hardnosed corporation from within are pretty naive.

Days of Hope

Throughout 2005 the development of the ‘Geldof’ brand has been going very nicely. From standing with Nelson Mandela at the Launch of “Make Poverty History” to “Live8” his product equity has risen and risen even contrary to the success of the campaign to eradicate global poverty. The Conservative Party have no doubt chosen him to advise them even though there are better qualified to do so for the improved ethical ‘cred’ his brand delivers.

Sir Bob has dismayed many of his admirers including myself for failing to criticise the G8 countries for their failed response to the massive call for action on poverty. I don’t blame him for the failures of government but I do think that he has a duty to point out that failure before he goes onto advise another party and perhaps future government.

As for Zac … What are you thinking about?! As oppositions crumble we need the likes of you outside govenment as never before. Source

Broken Promises …
Response From Oxfam
Response from ActionAid
Response from Make Poverty History

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