Looking beyond the usual corporate suspects

I was struck by this comment in a great post by David Ritter on campaigning trends that corporates need to be ready to respond to in the coming year;

NGOs are increasingly looking beyond the usual corporate suspects for campaign targets.

Ritter goes on to cite the example of ‘the global management consultancy McKinsey has been targeted by Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation for its ‘bad influence’ on deforestation. In McKinsey’s case – and to be brutally frank – for a global management consultancy that makes its living telling other people what to do, they’ve made a real mess out of how they have responded to being a campaign target.

Another great example of this approach, has been the campaigning that Sum Of Us have been doing toward the corporates that support the work of the Heartland Institute, a US think tank that has spent millions promoting climate scepticism.

The online movement has  focused on those corporates that fund the foundation and seen a number respond as a result putting real pressure on the ongoing funding of the Institute. It’s a great campaign, using an innovative approach which exposing the large sums that corporates spend rather than simply opposing the activities of the Institute, which would likely be futile.

I think campaigners could learn from both examples. What other examples of  campaigning beyond the usual corporate suspects have impressed you?

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3 Responses

  1. I liked Campaign Against Arms Trade’s targeting the National Gallery for hosting arms firms http://www.caat.org.uk/issues/armsfairs/farnborough/nhm.php

  2. I’ve been impressed by Greenpeace’s work against Apple and Facebook in recent years. Targeting strong brands that are being held up as though leaders in the business world on issues like energy usage seems like a smart route in other sectors of the economy.

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/15/facebook-greenpeace-settle-clean-energy-feud-after-two-year-campaign/

    I’ve also rated the Liberate Tate campaign taking on Shell. Appreciate they are a “usual suspect” but there is approach is impressive. Really lo-fi bit of online campaigning here (uses Google Docs) – by going after their CSR/Arts funding, strikes me they’re having more impact.
    http://liberatetate.wordpress.com/open-letter-to-nicholas-serota/

  3. Interesting examples Tom thanks for sharing. Sorry but now time for the for the blatent plug we have a free guide on influencing the private sector there’s loads of great examples in there of organisation campaigning against a wide range of corporate targets from the Living wage campaign, to Fawcett’s Sexism in the City, Trafigura and Busts for Justice it’s here http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/routesofinfluence#privatesector

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