“Social Good” campaigns aren’t always good

This week I appeared on HuffPo Live alongside Dr. Mara Einstein, author of Compassion Inc, and Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive who spoke out against the industry’s deception of the American public and author of Deadly Spin.

I talked about Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices program that I witnessed (or in many cases did not witness) in Colombia while researching EATING. And I also talked about TOMS. My main point was that we are just served up a pill of “do gooding” and we swallow it whole without asking questions about who or how much such ideas benefit the people they are meant to serve.

Dr. Einstein shared a mind blowing example. McDonald’s had a campaign playing up the fact that a portion of all Happy Meal sales would go to the Ronald McDonald’s house.

And that portion was?

A penny.

A penny of a $4 Happy Meal went to helping sick kids. McDonald’s probably spent more on ink to print the Ronald McDonald’s house logo on the side of happy meals than they gave to their charity.

So before you buy, give, or buy and give at the same time ask yourself, “Where am I giving?” (I should write a book on that.)

Watch the segment here:


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