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Study: Social responsibility remains a high priority for consumers, regardless of the recession

March 30, 2010

The second annual Corporate Social Responsibility Perceptions Survey, conducted by research-based consultancy Penn Schoen Berland in partnership with brand consulting firm Landor Associates and Burson-Marsteller, analyzed consumer views of companies operating across 14 industries ranging from Apparel to Telecommunications. The survey finds that more than 75 percent of consumers say that it is important for companies in each of the industries tested to be socially responsible. 

The research also reveals that consumers think that companies most often come up short in the sectors where they believe responsible behavior is most important.  Of the five industries where respondents most highly value responsibility, financial services, health care and media are perceived as performing worst on the issue. The health care industry fares poorly, as just 35 percent of consumers say that the industry has performed well on social responsibility over the last five years — a 10 percentage-point drop since 2009.

Other key findings of the survey include:
• Of 14 tested industries, Food, Consumer Goods and Retailers are perceived as performing best, while Financial Services, Health care and Media are perceived as performing worst. 
• Consumers perceive General Mills to be the most responsible of 64 tested brands.    
• Seventy-Two Percent say they will make some sacrifices in their spending or in their salary to support social responsibility. 




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