Top corporate abusers announced

Nasty corporates can buy stick-on demon horns from the cinema-secrets website.

Every reputation management consultants’ nightmare – the Consumers International World Congress – has just had a shindig in Sydney where it voted on and announced those corporations most guilty of abusing human rights.
Despite great interest in the findings, it’s hard to find its definitive ‘offensive corporations’ list on its website.
As Kelly Burke reports in today’s Age newspaper, the biggest ‘prizewinners/losers’ was Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The company was found to have abused advertising laws in a television campaign for the insomnia drug ramelteon, marketed as Rozerem in the US. Major side effects of Rozerem include worsening insomnia, behaviour changes — such as self-harm — and changes to the reproductive system. The ad used images of schoolchildren, blackboards, schoolbooks and a school bus. The voice-over stated: “Rozerem would like to remind you that it’s back-to-school season.” (Hey nice one, guys!!)
The international federation of consumer watchdogs, which includes Australia’s Choice, took into account the size of the company, the global scale of sales and marketing, and the direct impact on consumers when drawing up the list of offenders.
Others nominated include Coca-Cola for its bottled and tainted tap water, Dasani (case featured in PR Disasters); Kellogs for using cartoon characters to market sugar-dense cereals to children worldwide. Mattel’s obfuscation over its lead paint and faulty toy scandal got it a dishonourable mention. (tho some PRs say the PR was good).
Any others worthy of mention; alcopop manufacturers maybe? Bueller? Bueller…?

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