Consumer awareness of CSR programs low, study finds

NEW YORK: While consumers demand CSR programs from companies, they can't seem to pick out which organizations and brands they believe are doing a good job at it.

NEW YORK: While consumers demand CSR programs from companies, they can't seem to pick out which organizations and brands they believe are doing a good job at it. That's according to a new study conducted by Penn, Shoen & Berland Associates, branding firm Landor Associates, and Burson-Marsteller, which suggeted companies aren't doing a good enough job raising awareness about their CSR initiatives.

The organizations polled 1,001 consumers ages 18 and over for the Corporate Citizenship Study. Respondents were asked about their perceptions of 69 brands; 23 of the brands were ranked on The CRO Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2009.

While 75% of respondents were willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies, only 13% of survey respondents named the same company – Wal-Mart, which did not appear on The CRO's list – while 22% responded that no company came to mind, and 58% named one among 187 brands. The top ranked company by The CRO is Bristol Meyers-Squibb.

“There is a definite disconnect between companies' corporate social responsibility initiatives and the public's perception and awareness of them,” said Scott Siff, EVP of Penn, Schoen & Berland, in a statement.

More than 70% also said they're unaware of any socially responsible practices from their own employer.

The Corporate Citizenship Study was conducted online between March 25 and March 27.

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