Compassion, Inc.: How Corporate America Blurs the Line Between What We Buy, Who We Are and Those We Help (University of California Press, 2012)
Pink ribbons, red dresses, and greenwashing—American corporations are scrambling to tug at consumer heartstrings through cause-related marketing, corporate social responsibility, and ethical branding, tactics that can increase sales by as much as 74%. Harmless? Marketing insider Mara Einstein demonstrates in this penetrating analysis why the answer is a resounding “No!” In Compassion, Inc. she outlines how cause-related marketing desensitizes the public by putting a pleasant face on complex problems. She takes us through the unseen ways in which large sums of consumer dollars go into corporate coffers rather than helping the less fortunate. She also points out companies that truly do make the world a better place, and those that just pretend to.
“…Mara and I really agree. Whether it’s purpose-driven marketing or cause marketing or social-responsibility marketing, it won’t have much traction if everyone’s doing it, especially if such tactics aren’t an intrinsic part of the brand.”
—Rance Crane, president of Crain Communications and editor-in-chief of Advertising Age
“Mara Einstein pulls back the curtain on some of the most important marketing developments of our day with a nuanced analysis that is both penetrating and fair minded.”
—Joseph Turow, author of The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your World
“Einstein’s message is especially powerful because she is not cynically hostile to corporate America or the free market… [Compassion, Inc.] is a powerful call to be more attentive to whether we’re letting ourselves try to be philanthropic on the cheap by “giving” to others when we’re really just getting something for ourselves.”
—Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill Philanthropy Daily