Proposing fresh guidelines of Advertising and Publicity for CSR Activity by Corporate
During Corporate Social Responsibility advertising and publicity campaign, corporate increasingly use platforms like buy our products and make contribution to build school for poor and so on. Primarily the characteristics of corporate are to do business and not social service. If social service is the primary objective then they would open an NGO instead of business organization.
Any renowned, established or successful corporate, with a legacy, can sell their products without much advertising, as credibility is what stands unique. Personally I feel that there is no compromise whatsoever in quality and vision of the corporate, however on the other hand watching CSR advertisements for social development programs by corporate sure raise questions in my heart.
The money corporate give back to society through CSR falls under strict federal law and voluntary guidelines; I wonder how can that be glorified or justified as Social Service, when the money they contribute is to save taxes. If businessmen serve to society, it is called as moral because his consciousness makes him contribute and share his income for society and nation.
By discovering the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) guidelines in India, I found it is not referred as Guidelines, instead accredited as Voluntary Guidelines in CSR and is prepared by the Honorable Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The fourth guideline however states with Respect to the Human Rights that, the Companies must honor human rights and avoid any complicity with regards to human rights abuses by them or by any third party.
The fifth guideline states Respect for Environment, which implies Companies should take measures to keep a check and prevent pollution, recycle, manage and reduce waste, should manage natural resources in a sustainable manner and ensure optimal use of resources like land and water; should proactively respond to the challenges of climate change by adopting cleaner production methods, promoting efficient use of energy and environment friendly technologies.
According to Respect for Workers’ Rights and Welfare the guideline iterates Companies should provide a workplace environment that is safe, hygienic and humane and which upholds the dignity of employees. They should provide necessary skills for career advancement on an equal non-discriminatory basis and have effective grievance redressal system.
At the end, in small paragraph CSR voluntary guidelines states that depending upon their core competency and business interest, companies should undertake activities for economic and social development of communities and geographical areas, particularly in the vicinity of their operations.
In clear words, this is an initiative to encourage companies to be a partner in social development, and I feel great pleasure to know that government stresses on cleanliness of the internal environment prior to working for the society as a whole. Its goes well with an old saying, clean your house first, then work for thy neighbor’s.
CSR has taken a shape of PR exercises by corporate. It is highly intolerant to see CSR activities by corporate being glorified to have an emotional touch with their consumers. From surface it appears that LETS PARTICIPATE in Social cause and join hand whereas inside it is darker than a coal. If corporate can get sensitive and separate advertisements of their Products and CSR Activity then there will be no moral objection.
As a part of their CSR activities Corporate have to focus on causes, vision, mission, structure and targets of social development issues chosen by them vs selling or endorsing their products under the cause during advertising and publicity campaign. Asking prospect consumer to buy products for the sake of contribution in social cause, might look as a best creative strategy to them but the moral stands become very futile.
The new guidelines where Social causes are supported and will only promote cause, quality, mission vision structure and focus on the particular cause picked by the Corporate.
I foresee a policy, where creative content or guidelines to support social activities, should not have any inclusion of product selling either by voice or image. I also strongly recommend that new advertisements are created and all old ones are pulled out.