17 Jun Using Brand Power to Create Positive Change!
I generally use my personal Facebook page to share or comment on issues which I am passionate about. I don’t post or comment about each and every single issue which I consider important, since if I had to do that, I would need to spend the whole day engaging with people on Facebook. However, this week I just could not hold my disdain towards a video which caught my attention – a production aimed at promoting a ‘teen festival’. The video depicted a number of young female teenagers, some as young as 13, scantily dressed in provocative outfits with undertones of bondage. One would have been excused for thinking that the event being promoted was a ‘girls only’ event since there was not a single boy featured in the video.
My utter disdain was mainly towards the companies which supported the promo. Some of the companies concerned represent international brands which are widely sold all over the world. Internationally, this year there has been a great push towards eliminating sexist attitudes and empowering girls to speak up against sexual abuse, and therefore having these recognisable brands supporting an initiative which does the exact opposite, was just shocking to me.
Through our CSR work, we are more conscious than ever about the impact that businesses have on society. Companies can choose to use their influence as a force for good, or, as happened in this case, to perpetuate negative attitudes in an attempt to ‘normalise’ them. Indeed, many of the comments which opposed my stance, revolved about the fact that these things are ‘normal’ nowadays and that we need to move with the times. Aside from the fact that these things are not normal at all (in fact, I doubt this promo would have been approved for viewing on a TV station) this also shows the fact that there is a leadership vacuum in our society. Once again, business leaders can just allow things to degenerate further, or use their power and influence to create positive change – God knows we need it!