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Media Companies Face Unique CSR Challenges

Consumers might purchase from specific companies because of a strong CSR reputation – as long as the product meets consumer needs. But does this same logic work for media companies?  

Because of the nature of what they do – provide entertaining content – it’s not quite as simple as assuming that if Warner Bros. is a good corporate citizen, more people will see its films, onPhilanthropy reports.  “It’s hard for people to be aware of what the Warner Bros. brands are, or to develop a loyalty based on our CSR,” said Michelle Crozier, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Warner Bros. “We don’t necessarily see people tune into a show because of the CSR values of the company – it’s about enjoyment.” 

While many media companies are working on their own sustainability initiatives (for example, News Corp. recently announced it would be going climate neutral by 2010), Crozier feels that “the call is not so much for business practices to be socially responsible, although we have been a leader in sustainability for a decade, but for our programming to reflect it.” 

But in a different part of the interview, Crozier also said that,  “We can’t set out to produce socially responsible content as part of our corporate mission – this would make us an entirely different companyA?AA¢AA¢aAA¬A?AA¦We produce, market and distribute content that meets the needs of the global community.” 

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One thought on “Media Companies Face Unique CSR Challenges

  1. It’s awfully difficult to reconcile the view that a company can be a leader in sustainability while delivering enjoyment that glorifies violence and perpetuates stereotypes. While this may not be what Warner Bros. does, there are an awful lot of video games based on that ‘entertainment’ premise. Makes me wonder how a socially conscious generation can be against pesticides, GMOs, and genocide yet ‘enjoy’ playing Crime Theft Auto for hours on end? Ultimately those of us in the CSR arena have to address the disconnect between our politically correct C-suite rhetoric on sustainability and our commercial actions. The credibility gap is painfully obvious.

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