‘Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love’ by: Fran Hawthorne

Fran Hawthorne – Author of Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love

There’s a reason why the largest corporations also have the largest marketing budgets.  With all of the competition out there today, a company’s image is just as important as the products that it sells.  For example, hear the word Lexus and what do you immediately think about? Luxury, indulgence, perhaps a big red bow wrapped around your car? Do you even own a Lexus? Well I sure as heck don’t, but I still know what it’s supposed to represent.  But sometimes, that image doesn’t quite tell the whole story.  This is especially true when companies try to portray an aura of social responsibility.  It’s easy to tell the public they do what’s right, but it’s much harder to act on it – especially when it comes down to the bottom line of profitability. So let’s see what we can do to pull back the curtain on 6 of today’s most beloved companies (yes, one of them is Apple).

Our guest this week is Fran Hawthorne.  Fran is a prize-winning author and journalist with over 20 years of experience specializing in health care, retirement issues, and the nexus between business and public policy.  She writes regularly for The New York Times, Newsday, The Scientist, Institutional Investor and more.  We discuss her two most recent books, Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love and The Overloaded Liberal: Shopping, Investing, Parenting, and Other Daily Dilemmas in an Age of Political Activism.