Hypocrisy and Brand Purpose, update

Collecting stories for a future article about hypocrisy and brand purpose.

Cadbury and its generosity

  • Mission statement/brand purpose: Cadbury launched a new purpose-filled positioning in 2018, to “shine a light on the kindness and generosity that we see in society”; it re-launched its global brand positioning as a “family brand founded on generous principles”.
  • But… Cadbury manages to pay zero corporation tax, for the seventh consecutive year. The company, which is a subsidiary of US giant Mondelez International, recorded a 740% jump in profit for the year to 31 December 2017, with turnover rising to £1.66bn from £1.65bn. Yes, very generous principles behind Cadbury’s actions. In recent years, Cadbury’s corporate owners have consistently managed (legally) to avoid paying any corporate tax. Alex Cobham, who runs the Tax Justice Network, notes that Mondelēz regularly carries out “financial engineering that is very sad given Cadbury’s long history of working to generate value in the communities where they work”.
  • And… There is a single, brilliant way for Cadbury to deliver on brand purpose and align with the company’s true position: just pay the full 19% of corporate tax on your profits this year, Cadbury. Every penny. And celebrate where that money will go and what it says about you as a company and as human beings.
  • Also… Or, alternatively, reduce that tax to nothing once again and enjoy the extra money that this clever and incredibly legal tax minimisation bestows on you. But spare us the lectures on diversity, unity and society. Because we are better than you. We pay our taxes.
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Freedom, Fairness, Equality.

The respect of three values – freedom, fairness and equality – has nearly been an obsession for most of my life. In my (ideal) world these are some of the core leftist values – yes, the left, that abstract concept that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore, at least not in the western hemisphere. I took many decisions, personal and not, with these three values in mind. It didn’t work every single time, but I still feel being driven by the three guiding principles.

Time ago Seth Godin published a short post where he defined, guess what, the three values. Here is what he writes. I think it is worth to share, one more time.

Freedom doesn’t mean no responsibility. In fact, it requires extra responsibility. Freedom is the ability to make a choice, and responsibility is required once you make that choice.

Fairness isn’t a handout. Fairness is the willingness to offer dignity to others. The dignity of being seen and heard, and having a chance to make a contribution.

And Equality doesn’t mean equal and doesn’t mean to be fair. Equality doesn’t guarantee me a starting position on the Knicks. Equality means equality of access, the opportunity to do my best without being disqualified for irrelevant reasons.

My life as a B2B marketing influencer

Based on the latest research of Marketing Recruitment, it looks like I made the list of 100 most influential B2B marketers in London in 2019. The folks at ME used Buzzsumo and Twitter’s accounts to identify the Top 100 B2B marketers. Got the 34th position overall and the 19th if we exclude non-humans (agencies); not bad, considering that I moved to London only 5 years ago.