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Resource ID: #10905
Subject: Business
Source: Business Ethics
Date: 1994-09-01



"Shattered Image: Is The Body Shop Too Good to Be True?" exposed the arrogance and hypocrisy of the company widely regarded as the model, socially responsible business. The founder of the Body Shop cosmetic company, Anita Roddick, has been praised as the icon of progressive business and a feminist role model. Roddick has been featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines and has been given dozens of awards for her supposedly progressive business practices. This investigation broke through the veil of company propaganda to tell the remarkable story of a myth built on fabrications and exaggerations and sustained by libel threats and the cult-like blindness of a public desperate for heroes. The article suggests a troubling thesis: green consumerism is baby boom agitprop propagated by and for a generation filled with illusion of its own moral destiny - and eager to make money. The misleading hype surrounding "cause related marketing" appears so broad and calculated, and has required the silent complicity of so many social activists, fair trade groups, environmentalists, and progressive business leaders as to raise doubts about the ethics of the entire movement for social responsibility. (September 1, 1994)

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