Brands Taking Stands | Purpose-Led Brands Take the Lead in Business

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“Ethical Markets welcomes all this positive brand activism! We are receiving nominations of such ads for our  2019  EthicMark Awards for Advertising that Uplifts the Human Spirit & Society.  We’ll keep tracking this news from our colleagues John Howell, our Global Advisory Board and Judges Panel and from Philip Kotler and Christian Sarkar, authors of “Brand Activism”(2018) as well as our Brazilian members!

Let’s keep  a lookout for such positive activism!!

Hazel Henderson, Editor “


The CEO as The Chief Executive—A Reality Check

Businesses taking the lead to fill a policy vacuum created by dysfunctional government will be a familiar theme to readers of this newsletter. It’s one of the major trending developments in civic society today, as increasing numbers of business leaders are speaking out on key issues such as immigration, gender equity, gun control, and climate change.

Today, the concept of Brands Taking Stands—led by the CEO as activist—is a common practice. It’s a radical change to a combination of private sector and public policy leadership roles, which was once discouraged. Now, it’s an expectation of consumers, clients, and employees alike that CEOs and, by extension, the companies they lead, will take principled positions on contentious issues.

To pick one of my favorite examples, the PwC sponsored CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion has recently signed up over 500 chief executives, who have committed their companies to advance D&I in the workplace through the largest CEO-driven initiative to support progress on racial, ethnic, and gender issues. Read More >

– John Howell, Chief of Thought Leadership and Editorial Director, 3BL Media

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Black Executives Set Up PAC for Economic Issues
Black executives are stepping up their use of wealth and political connections to make social change with a PAC. The Black Economic Alliance is “the nation’s only political action committee founded by black business leaders and specifically dedicated to the economic issues—wealth, wages, work—that affect black Americans,” reports Bloomberg“That focus on business and economic issues differentiates the BEA from other PACs led by or for African Americans.” So does the business experience and wealth of its leaders. “We got to the point in our careers where we can take risks,” co-Chair Charles Phillips told Bloomberg. Phillips, a former Oracle president, earned $43.3 million in 2017 after Koch Industries invested more than $2 billion in Infor, his software company. (IMAGE CREDIT: Wayne Lawrence for Bloomberg Markets) Read More >

High CEO-Employee Pay Gap Ratio Is Bad Business
New research finds that when lopsided pay ratios between C-suite and worker compensation make the news, sales drop as consumers are “significantly less likely to buy from companies with high CEO pay ratios,”reports the Wall Street Journal. These ratios will be making regular, and presumably, big news this year, following a mandate by the Securities and Exchange Commission that now requires public U.S. companies to disclose how much their chief executive officers are paid in comparison to the median pay of their company’s employees. That average ratio has climbed to more than 300 to 1 from 30 to 1 over the past 40 years. Researchers predict a hit to the bottom lines of companies with large corporate pay ratio gaps while “companies with low ratios could take this opportunity to trumpet that fact to consumers” and potentially increase sales and profits. Read More >

Patagonia Founder Gives $10 Million From Tax Cuts to Activist Groups
Patagonia considers itself an “activist” company, although the founder of the privately owned outdoors apparel business, Yvon Chouinard, has personally stayed aloof from politics in the past. But the “irresponsible” Trump tax cuts have prompted a re-set. The company has announced that the additional $10 million in profits it recorded in 2018 due to the lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent will be donated to “grassroots groups fighting climate change, including organizations that work in regenerative organic agriculture to help reverse global warming,” reports Forbes.

“Our government continues to ignore the seriousness and causes of the climate crisis,” Chouinard said in a statement. “It’s pure evil.” Read More >
Meet With Triple Pundit at Sustainability Week in Phoenix
The last week of February is shaping up to be Sustainability Week in Phoenix.  The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is running a daylong workshop on reporting. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is holding its annual meeting.  GreenBiz will present its namesake forum. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) are also holding events.

3BL Media CMO Dave Armon, a former UPI business reporter who dons his journalist hat throughout the year, will be in Phoenix to listen and learn, and to provide updates for our global audience via TriplePundit.

If you or a member of your team will be in Phoenix Feb. 25-28 and would like to brief Dave, let us know.