Friday, March 09, 2007

What should controversial businesses do?

It is always a dilemma for being involved in a controversial businesses. When it seems like everyone is against you and everything you do is always wrong.

An article in Asia Times, entitled Smokes Get In Your Eyes in Indonesia, written by Duncan Graham, mentioned tobacco company as quoted below:

“... Indonesia’s tobacco company don’t like being portrayed as purveyors of poisons and killers of citizens. So they have tried to boost their image through socially responsible campaigns ... Another ploy is to fund educational institutions and scholarships ... (they) has also started to seduce journalists with media awards equal in most cases to six months’ salary for the average reporter ...”

The question that crossed my mind instantly was: ‘What about the mining company who allocate significant amount of money to help preserved the environment?’ or ‘Are fast-food restaurants should be banned from supporting national children’s health program?’

I think as what other ‘responsible’ companies do, these controversial businesses also want to give back to the community, but people are always skeptical towards their efforts. This is where a clear guidance on what companies can and cannot do in terms of doing social activities is needed.

The government should also be consistent and clear on what controversial industries are allowed or not allowed to do, especially when it comes to promotion and marketing activities. Therefore, they can go on operating their business activities without having to worry about possible disruption.

What do you think? Any suggestions, everyone?


johnorford said...

the thing is tobacco companies use good deeds to hide their atrocious ones.

if they donated money to lung cancer patients for example then /that/ would be ok - but they never do, wonder why?

hanny said...

thanks for your comment. it's an interesting suggestion.