retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Marketing Daily reports that Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has come out in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests that are taking place all over the country, with citizens objecting to the fact that one percent of the nation’s population seems to be accumulating more and more of the nation’s wealth at the expense of the other 99 percent.

According to the story, the company has posted a message of support on the Ben & Jerry’s website, saying “We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us.”

The message goes on to say that “the inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral,” and that “we are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.” Meanwhile, the site points out, “corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.”

The message adds that the company has been “actively involved with these issues for years,” and that “we have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products.”

However, the site says, “your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do.”
KC's View:
Didn’t see that one coming.

But if any company was going to try to get out in front of this movement, it was going to be Ben & Jerry’s. Let’s see if it generates any momentum in other board rooms.

And I’ll tell you one thing. The statement by the Ben & Jerry’s board seems to crystalize the issues in a way that many of the protesters do not.