Business people get invited to some odd events, but one of the most
unusual ever must have been the coach tour organised for corporate heads
by Michael Heseltine after the Toxteth riots of 1982.
From this sprang the organisation Business in the Community, committed
to promoting the idea of cause-related marketing. It now boasts more
than 400 top companies as members, including Cadbury, BT and Barclays
Cause-related marketing has long been a big thing in the US, even if
Brits may have historically dismissed it as being unnecessary in the UK,
with its welfare state. That’s hardly the case today.
Schemes to supply schools with computers (Tesco) or musical instruments
(Co-op and Jacob’s Club), or Texaco’s ’Children should be seen and not
hurt’, show cause-related marketing is not about charity, but about
The CBI and the Public Relations Consultants Association staged a
one-day conference on the topic recently. Judging by the number of PR
consultants present, the communicators clearly believe that this is a
cause whose time has come.