Business and CSR can mix, says P&G

27 April 2009

CINCINATTI: Corporate social responsibility and philanthropy provide a variety of benefits for consumers and brands, but it is "important to have a business connection with these activities" in order to make them sustainable, according to Charlotte Otto, global external relations officer of Procter & Gamble.

The company's Pampers brand launched a tie-up with UNICEF last year, offering to pay for tetanus vaccinations across 12 African countries when consumers in America and Western Europe purchased packs of its diapers.

Jodi Allen, P&G's North American vice president of baby care, says this strategy appeals to those parents who "want brands that are not only good value, but that support their values."

The consumer goods giant has also been involved in China for 20 years, and has helped to build a large number of schools, particularly in rural areas.

Chris Hassall, a P&G vice president in Greater China, argues that alongside the social benefits, this "enables the government to look at us as a partner," and has "clearly been helpful in building our image and reputation."

Similarly, the company gives away packs of its feminine hygiene brand Always to teenage girls in parts of Africa through its Protecting Futures scheme, as well as improving facilities at schools.

Lisa Jones Christensen, a professor at the University of North Carolina, posits that this programme provides it with new learning "about the distribution channel and about consumer habits."

Greg Allgood, the director of the PUR safe drinking water initiative run by the Cincinnati-based corporation, also stated that such an initiative "builds morale in employees. We've measured it."

Data sourced from Cincinnati Enquirer; additional content by WARC staff