Compassion, Inc.: How Corporate America Blurs the Line between What We Buy, Who We Are, and Those We Help

Overview


Pink ribbons, red dresses, and greenwashing—American corporations are scrambling to tug at consumer heartstrings through cause-related marketing, corporate social responsibility, and ethical branding, tactics that can increase sales by as much as 74%. Harmless? Marketing insider Mara Einstein demonstrates in this penetrating analysis why the answer is a resounding “No!” In Compassion, Inc. she outlines how cause-related marketing desensitizes the public by putting a pleasant face on complex problems. She takes ...
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Compassion, Inc.: How Corporate America Blurs the Line between What We Buy, Who We Are, and Those We Help

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Overview


Pink ribbons, red dresses, and greenwashing—American corporations are scrambling to tug at consumer heartstrings through cause-related marketing, corporate social responsibility, and ethical branding, tactics that can increase sales by as much as 74%. Harmless? Marketing insider Mara Einstein demonstrates in this penetrating analysis why the answer is a resounding “No!” In Compassion, Inc. she outlines how cause-related marketing desensitizes the public by putting a pleasant face on complex problems. She takes us through the unseen ways in which large sums of consumer dollars go into corporate coffers rather than helping the less fortunate. She also discusses companies that truly do make the world a better place, and those that just pretend to.
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Editorial Reviews

Ms Magazine - Laura Orlando

“Marketing campaigns associated with philanthropy . . . may sound magnanimous, but when Einstein shines a lens on the practice, she finds considerable cracks in the veneer.”
Philanthropy Daily - Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill

“Einstein’s book is a powerful call to be more attentive to whether we’re letting ourselves try to be philanthropic on the cheap by “giving” to others when we’re really just getting something for ourselves.”
Book Kvetch Blog - Rebecca Aguilar

“A highly worthwhile read with prescriptive examples for authentic sustainability and social justice initiatives at companies—not all about the brand, the celebrity or corporate self-interest.”
Humane Connection

“On our must-read list.”
Advertising Age - Rance Crain

"Provocative."
International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) - Billie Sandberg

"Eminently readable. . . . Few have questioned whether [corporate charitable giving] strategies are good for anyone but corporations. Mara Einstein is one of the brave few."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520266520
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,252,026
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Mara Einstein is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Queens College. She is the author of Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in a Commercial Age. She has worked as a senior marketing executive in both broadcast and cable television as well as at major advertising agencies.
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Table of Contents


Preface

1 Value Brands . . . They Ain’t What They Used to Be
2 How Corporations Co-Opt Caring: Strategic Philanthropy, Cause-Related Marketing, and Corporate Social Responsibility
3 The Birth of the Hypercharity and the Rise of “Charitainment”
4 The Consequences of Co-Opting Compassion
5 Shopping Is Not Philanthropy. Period.
6 Can Companies Make a Difference?
7 We Are Not Consumers

Notes
Index

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