Over the last few years, triclosan has been the subject of much debate. Those in favour of these products hail their ability to keep bacteria at bay. Those against suggest there is no real benefit in everyday consumer home use whereas the risks -- both to humans and the environment -- are too great.
Companies getting put over the coals for false claims are becoming ever more commonplace. But this is a wake-up call for any company making good or green claims that are not in fact true or represent partial truth. It also means that trust in corporate communication is likely to go lower than it already is making the job of corporate communicators even tougher.
Earth Day is an important date on the calendar that puts the spotlight back on the planet. However, as we all grow more interconnected around the world with a greater ability to have an impact -- both positive and negative -- it's equally important to recognize that the principles of Earth Day can't be ignored the other 364 days of the year.
The United States and Canada do not allow for full competition, but Americans benefit from a bigger market given their much larger population. Thus, a continental market in airline travel would serve passengers if an American airline could compete head-to-head with Canadian airlines on domestic routes. But the federal government won't allow it. The result? Higher airline fares in Canada.
With the holidays just around the corner, this got me thinking about the issue of "frustration-free" packaging. Not only is complex wrapping simply no fun for the kids receiving gifts packaged in such a manner, the fact is it's a much larger issue for the most rapidly growing segment of our population -- older adults.
Whenever Canadians cross the border, it is inevitable they will find cheaper goods in the United States. There is a reason that helps explain part of the price differences: $3.6 billion in customs tariffs. All consumers would benefit from more competition and an end to anti-consumer tariffs. But more importantly, low-income Canadians would benefit the most.
Since going green no longer means having to forfeit beautiful packaging to sell a product in a way that is consistent with any brand's image, there is simply no longer any excuse for offering products in unsustainable packaging. In the new age of green packaging, sustainability and brand promise can now go hand in hand and beautiful packaging doesn't have to be ugly for the environment.
It has all come to where we are today: Loss of confidence, loss of trust, and staggering market losses. This is the time for transparency, authentic conversation, honesty and humility. Those who display this behaviour have a chance to slowly regain the shattered trust of their customers. Straight talk. Honest talk. Committed talk. No spin. No rationalization. The industry messed up, and the public wants to hear the truth.
Around Labour Day, a plethora of news stories focus on the state of unions, and often, their interaction with business. Given the name of the holiday, the attention is understandable. However, the focus on unions and corporations, especially where governments are involved to set policy and create legislation, often misses two other critical groups: consumers and taxpayers.