Businesses have betrayed consumer trust, says CBI boss

John Cridland, the outgoing director-general of business lobbying group the CBI, thinks businesses have betrayed the trust of consumers and that CSR is no substitute for it.

Cridland steps down from the helm of the Confederation of British Industry in November
Cridland steps down from the helm of the Confederation of British Industry in November

In a video interview given exclusively to PRWeek by broadcast agency StoryBuild Agency, part of 4mediarelations, Cridland said: "The trust question is the key...Why do we rely on Which? or the Guardian newspaper to be the consumer champion? We should be the consumer champion. If we're not in business to serve the consumer, we shouldn't be in business."

And in an echo of Lord Browne's comments earlier in the autumn, Cridland was scathing about business leaders who conflate CSR with reputation.

He said business leaders tell him: "Let me tell you how many hundred thousand volunteering hours my workforce do. Let me tell you how many schools we support. And I say; 'you're talking about corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility isn't what you do as a business. Tell me how well you're serving your customers because that is what delivers trust.'"

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