Branding Deception

Listen to the show featuring Branding Deception

These days it pays to look further into products to know exactly what you’re buying, often even the small print on the product itself won’t tell you.

Corporations spend big bucks to make it look as if they didn’t and have a penchant for ‘consumer credibility’ and ‘ethical products’.

Even easier still is to buy a small company which has authentic branding and use your multinational status to increase the influence of this brand while keeping most consumers unaware of the big company behind scenes.

And so is the situation with Ben and Jerry’s the icecream company who seem ubiquitous these days.

Ben and Jerry’s look like a small niche even boutique brand, they’re a bit different, not one of the big brands known for icecream like Pauls or Streets.

And Ben and Jerry’s did start out as a small enterprise started by two guys called Ben and Jerry who bonded  in the school gym in 1966 over a hatred for running and a love for food and years later started their company after doing a $5 correspondence course on ice-cream making.

However for more than 12 years the company has been owned by UNILEVER who are the world’s third largest consumer goods company.

While many of the companies so called ‘ethical’ or ‘green’ initiatives remain there’s no getting past the fact they’re owned by UNILEVER .

There is much written about the Ben and Jerry’s takeover for those interested, the Ben and Jerry’s journey from being a social enterprise to being owned by one of the largest multinationals in the world has sparked quite a debate.

One thing it does reinforce is the notion that we can’t green capitalism because in the end the bottom line of how much money is to be made rules the day.

What’s so Bad About Unilever ?

The fact that they’re the 3rd largest consumer goods company in the world rings alarms bells and means they got to where they are by stomping on lots of toes.

Specifically UNILEVER is known for testing its products on animals (even tea apparently),  operating with repressive governments, not treating workers or farmers fairly, using palm oil which threatens orangutangs and indigenous people in Indonesia  and polluting the planet with the chemicals they produce.

The list goes on so for more information visit the Ethical Shopping Guide.


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