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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Verena E. Wieser, Andrea Hemetsberger and Marius K. Luedicke

Whenever the news media feature brand-related moral struggles over issues such as ethicality, fairness, or sustainability, brands often find themselves in the position of…

Abstract

Whenever the news media feature brand-related moral struggles over issues such as ethicality, fairness, or sustainability, brands often find themselves in the position of the culprit. However, brands may also take the opposite position, that of a moral entrepreneur who proactively raises and addresses moral issues that matter to society. In this chapter, the authors present a case study of the Austrian shoe manufacturer Waldviertler, which staged a protest campaign against Austria’s financial market authorities in the wake of the authorities demanding that the company closes its alternative (and illegal) consumer investment model after 10 years of operation. In response to this demand, the company organized protest marches, online petitions, and press conferences to reclaim the moral high ground for its financing model as a way out of the crunch following the global credit crisis and as a way to fight unfair administrative burdens. The authors present an interpretive analysis of brand communication material and media coverage that reveals how this brand used protest rhetoric on three levels – logos, ethos, and pathos – to reverse moral standards, to embody a rebel ethos, and to cultivate moral indignation. The authors also show how the media responded to protest rhetoric both with thematic coverage of context, trends, and general evidence, and with episodic coverage focusing on dramatic actions and the company owner’s charisma. The authors close with a discussion of how protestainment, the stylization of a leader figure, and marketplace sentiments can ensure sustained media coverage of moral struggles.

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2002

Matthew Higgins and Mark Tadajewski

Across much of the developed and developing world the last few years have been marked by protest against institutions and corporations. Much has been said about the…

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2229

Abstract

Across much of the developed and developing world the last few years have been marked by protest against institutions and corporations. Much has been said about the significance of these protests, indeed books broadly supportive of anti‐corporate protest compete for ratings against management gurus in the best selling business book charts. In this paper we explore how the technology of marketing is implicated within the organisation and representation of anti‐corporate protests. We argue that the cynical and unreflexive manner in which cultural critics engage with marketing, and their attempts to distance marketing from activities that they privilege, may have consequences for the anti‐corporate movement. This paper concludes with a sense of pessimism about the current tactics employed by anti‐corporate protestors but hope in the potentiality of marketing to develop a sense of individual responsibility.

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Management Decision, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

David McQueen

The focus of the chapter is on disputes around corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the fossil fuel industry and how media and social networking technologies are…

Abstract

Purpose

The focus of the chapter is on disputes around corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the fossil fuel industry and how media and social networking technologies are deployed in a virtual war between oil corporations and dissident, activist and protest groups.

Methodology/approach

Communications by BP, Shell, and their opponents in this virtual war are compared, especially in relation to the creative use of the internet, digital technologies, and social media. Through a case study approach, the chapter shows how communications often center on contested notions of CSR and claims by the oil giants about their environmental impact, which opponents dismiss as “greenwashing.” The various techniques deployed by both sides in this wide-ranging “PR war” are explored and contrasted in detail.

Findings

The findings for each case study reveal the diverse, complex, and changing nature of the relationship between the oil industry and its critics. The chapter concludes by arguing that if CSR is seen as “greenwashing” by the public, it is only likely to fuel widespread skepticism of the oil and gas sector and of corporate claims about the environment more generally.

Research limitations/implications

The research offers a snapshot of online and social media campaigns and PR strategies and tactics within the oil and gas industry rather than empirically grounded set of findings that can be easily applied to other fields.

Practical implications

Practical implications include attention to inflated or understated claims and the use of citizen testimony and humor to puncture CSR “rhetoric.” There is consideration of use of digital technologies by activists and attention to the way public debates and consultations are conducted. The need for a more respectful engagement with local communities by all parties engaging in public relations is underlined.

Originality/value

The chapter applies the concept of “asymmetrical warfare” from conflict studies within the media and communications tradition to provide a fresh revaluation of the term “PR war,” It offers a rare focus on online efforts by activist to subvert CSR-related branding, marketing, and communications. Discussion of the use of parody alongside factual and emotional arguments to challenge corporate hegemony also provides revealing insights.

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Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-582-2

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Book part
Publication date: 2 November 2009

Jeffrey R. Dudas

Scholars increasingly recognize the centrality of legal ideas and language to the political vision that inspires American conservatism. However, relevant studies have been…

Abstract

Scholars increasingly recognize the centrality of legal ideas and language to the political vision that inspires American conservatism. However, relevant studies have been limited to the discursive practices that motivate conservative activism at the grass-root level. Exploration of the legal discourses employed by prominent public officials thus carries significant scholarly potential. For example, this chapter's investigation of President Ronald Reagan reveals that his political vision was suffused with legal discourse. Reagan's legal discourse, moreover, has exerted constitutive effects both on American conservatism and on the form and substance of a great deal of contemporary American public policy.

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Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-616-8

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Mary Ho and Stephanie O’Donohoe

The purpose of this paper is to seek to enhance the understanding of non-profit marketing and consumer identities by exploring volunteering as a form of symbolic…

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2676

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to seek to enhance the understanding of non-profit marketing and consumer identities by exploring volunteering as a form of symbolic consumption. Specifically, it seeks to examine how young people – both volunteers and non-volunteers – understand and relate to volunteer stereotypes, and how they manage stigma in negotiating their social identities in relation to volunteering.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded in consumer culture theory, the study uses mixed qualitative methods, incorporating focus groups, paired and individual interviews and a projective drawing task.

Findings

Five volunteering-related stereotypes were identified: the older charity shop worker, the sweet singleton, the environmental protestor, the ordinary volunteer and the non-volunteer. Participants related to positive and negative attributes of these stereotypes in different ways. This led volunteers and non-volunteers to engage in a range of impression management strategies, some of which bolstered their own identities by stigmatising other groups.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was drawn from 39 individuals aged 16-24 years and living in Scotland.

Practical implications

Because stereotypes are acknowledged as a major barrier to volunteering, particularly among young people, a greater understanding of how these stereotypes are understood and negotiated can assist non-profit marketers in recruiting and retaining volunteers.

Originality/value

This paper draws on theories of consumer culture and stigma to explore volunteering as a form of symbolic consumption, examines volunteering stereotypes among both volunteers and non-volunteers and uses multiple qualitative methods to facilitate articulation of young people’s experiences in this area.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Shola Abidemi Olabode

Abstract

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Digital Activism and Cyberconflicts in Nigeria
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-014-7

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2019

Ozum Ucok-Sayrak and David M. Deiuliis

This paper aims to discuss the role of social media during the Gezi Park protests (2013) in Turkey in facilitating and promoting the expression of what matters to the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the role of social media during the Gezi Park protests (2013) in Turkey in facilitating and promoting the expression of what matters to the protestors in a communicative environment where most traditional media turned away from reporting the events. Furthermore, the role of social media in promoting “interspaces” (Arendt, 1955/1983) and constructing “communicative dwellings” that maintain public conversation of diverse ideas during the Gezi Park events (Arnett et al., 2014, p. 14) is highlighted.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the framework of communication ethics and conflict offered by Arnett et al. (2014) that highlights the importance of recognizing “the goods that matter to oneself and others” (p. 17) in a conflict situation.

Findings

Notwithstanding its potential for misinformation, social media was the only reliable option for Gezi Park protesters. During the Gezi Park protests, social media facilitated the creation of interspaces through which people could make sense of, share, and interactively negotiate meanings about the protests through dialogue. During the Gezi Park protests, social media served both as an alternative source of information and a platform for sharing what people protect and promote that allowed for the construction of multiple narratives of resistance. Social media revealed the many components of the protests collected under the label of Gezi Park. In this historical moment of narrative and virtue contention, it becomes crucial for leaders to sense what matters to oneself and others if conflict is to be constructively engaged, allowing for increased insight and productivity.

Originality/value

Although there are various studies on Gezi Park protests and the use of social media, there is no discussion related to communication ethics. In this paper, the authors used the communication ethics framework offered by Arnett et al. (2014) that underlines the “interplay of ethics and conflict” (p. 2) highlighting ethics as “the good that one seeks to protect and promote” (p. 7) that generate conflict because of “multiplicity of ‘goods’” (Arnett et al., 2009, p. 9) and contrasting ethical positions. Thus, given the multiplicity in terms of what is considered as that which matters, and the contrasting ethical positions that are at odds with each other, conflict and tension can be generated. There are no other studies in the literature that use the abovementioned communication ethics perspective for discussing the Gezi Park protests in Turkey.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Selcen Ozturkcan, Nihat Kasap, Muge Cevik and Tauhid Zaman

Twitter usage during Gezi Park Protests, a significant large-scale connective action, is analyzed to reveal meaningful findings on individual and group tweeting…

Abstract

Purpose

Twitter usage during Gezi Park Protests, a significant large-scale connective action, is analyzed to reveal meaningful findings on individual and group tweeting characteristics. Subsequent to the Arab Spring in terms of its timing, the Gezi Park Protests began by the spread of news on construction plans to build a shopping mall at a public park in Taksim Square in Istanbul on May 26, 2013. Though started as a small-scale local protest, it emerged into a series of multi-regional social protests, also known as the Gezi Park demonstrations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors sought answers to three important research questions: whether Twitter usage is reflective of real life events, what Twitter is actually used for, and is Twitter usage contagious? The authors have collected streamed data from Twitter. As a research methodology, the authors followed social media analytics framework proposed by Fan and Gordon (2014), which included three consecutive processes; capturing, understanding, and presenting. An analysis of 54 million publicly available tweets and 3.5 million foursquare check-ins, which account to randomly selected 1 percent of all tweets and check-ins posted from Istanbul, Turkey between March and September 2013 are presented.

Findings

A perceived lack of sufficient media coverage on events taking place on the streets is believed to result in Turkish protestors’ use of Twitter as a medium to share and get information on ongoing and planned demonstrations, to learn the recent news, to participate in the debate, and to create local and global awareness.

Research limitations/implications

Data collection via streamed tweets comes with certain limitations. Twitter restricts data collection on publicly available tweets and only allows randomly selected 1 percent of all tweets posted from a specific region. Therefore, the authors’ data include only tweets of publicly available Twitter profiles. The generalizability of the findings should be regarded with concerning this limitation.

Practical implications

The authors conclude that Twitter was used mainly as a platform to exchange information to organize street demonstrations.

Originality/value

The authors conclude that Twitter usage reflected Street movements on a chronological level. Finally, the authors present that Twitter usage is contagious whereas tweeting is not necessarily.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2021

Jan Klostermann, Chris Hydock and Reinhold Decker

In recent years, brands have increasingly engaged in corporate political advocacy (CPA; also termed brand activism or corporate sociopolitical activity) by taking…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, brands have increasingly engaged in corporate political advocacy (CPA; also termed brand activism or corporate sociopolitical activity) by taking positions on polarizing sociopolitical issues. Recent experimental research suggests that consumers respond to CPA based on its alignment with their own values, and that it typically induces an overall negative response. This study aims to provide additional insights by exploring consumer brand perceptions following CPA.

Design/methodology/approach

An event study of 106 CPA events and weekly consumer brand perception data was conducted. A regression model was used to investigate the moderating effects of CPA effort, concurrence and the strength of the online protests evoked by the CPA.

Findings

The results show that CPA had a negative effect on consumers’ brand perceptions and that the effect was stronger for customers relative to non-customers. The negative effect was attenuated by CPA concurrence and amplified by effort. Additionally, online protests were driven by the CPA effort and had a strong negative effect on brand perception. Online protests were stronger in the past, and, in turn, the negative effects of CPA on brand perceptions have slightly weakened in recent years.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature by highlighting the role of online protests following CPA and distinguishing consumer and customer responses. This study also provides converging evidence of the moderating effects of effort and concurrence identified in previous studies.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Avichai Shuv-Ami

This paper aims to present changes in customer brand commitment and its components in relation to the cellular and financial markets using three sets of data that were…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present changes in customer brand commitment and its components in relation to the cellular and financial markets using three sets of data that were collected before, during and after the social protests of the Summer of 2011 in Israel.

Design/methodology/approach

The four data sets for this study were collected from an internet panel and represent the Hebrew-speaking segment of Israel’s population. The current study examines two markets; cellular provider companies and financial service companies. The surveys were carried out at different points in time which extended from April 2011 to March 2012. The first two surveys were carried out in March 2011 and May 2011, before the outbreak of the protests the Summer of 2011. A third survey was conducted in August 2011 during the protest. The last and the fourth survey was conducted in March 2012 after the wave of protests had died down.

Findings

The current research shows that as a result of the social protest movement, consumers have changed. They perceive brands as not being as good (perceived performance) as they were before the protest; they are less satisfied with the brands they used previously; and they are less loyal and committed to them.

Practical implications

The findings of this study signify a major change in marketing and in basic aspects of consumer behavior. Brands have become less important than before the protest. Testing two markets, cellular and financial, this research suggests that the social protest movement reduced the attachment of consumers to brands they most often bought.

Originality/value

No study has tested the impact over time of the social protest on several consumer behavior variables, including brand loyalty, brand involvement, satisfaction, consumer perceptions of their brands’ performance and brand commitment.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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1 – 10 of 165