Strong brands are vital to help consumers, citizens, suppliers, and partners navigate an increasingly complex digital landscape. They provide assurance on trust, quality, and service in a world where fake news, scams and online unethical behaviour abound - an article by Many Pearse, President, CIPR.
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) encourages the focus on purpose, strong storytelling, and content in developing brand and managing reputation. We value the creative, entrepreneurial spirit that great brands and campaigns deliver. The colour, excitement, and fun that brands bring to consumers, especially in such turbulent times as these, cannot be underestimated.
We also, as a professional body, emphasise the need for those promoting brands to behave ethically and transparently. We believe that in a professional public relations (PR) and marketing context, voluntary regulation of brand advertising and packaging can be effective and we encourage leading brands to step up to the mark on their own behaviour, in supporting others that do, and calling out those that don’t.
The recent collective action by supermarkets after the backlash to the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert to support their approach is a great example. We have also seen similar action within the catering sector.
However, we also acknowledge that there are certain areas where the wider societal impact has to be considered, such as public health.
We would encourage industries to take a strong leadership role with products that may impact on health, if used in excess, by being transparent with consumers through appropriate labelling and sponsorship of mitigation measures such as increased activity.
Government regulation should be the last port of call when other interventions have not proved successful. We would expect that brands which take their environmental, societal and governance seriously not to encounter such issues.