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The Ethical Backlash of Corporate Branding

Abstract

Past decades have witnessed the growing success of branding as a corporate activity as well as a rise in anti-brand activism. While appearing to be contradictory, both trends have emerged from common sources – the transition from industrial to post-industrial society, and the advent of globalization – the examination of which might lead to a socially grounded understanding of why brand success in the future is likely to demand more than superior product performance, placing increasing demand on corporations with regard to a broader envelop of socially responsible behavior. Directions for strategic and managerial options are suggested.

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Correspondence to Guido Palazzo.

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Guido Palazzo is Assistant Professor for Business Ethics at the University of Lausanne. He graduated in Business Administration at the University of Bamberg and earned his Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from the University of Marburg. His research interests are in Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Branding, Democratic Theory, and Organizational Ethics.

Kunal Basu is a University Reader in Marketing at Said Business School, University of Oxford. He earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Florida. His research interests are in Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy and Brand Management.

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Palazzo, G., Basu, K. The Ethical Backlash of Corporate Branding. J Bus Ethics 73, 333–346 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-006-9210-6

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Keywords

  • corporate branding
  • consumption
  • CSR
  • globalization
  • identity
  • NGO activism
  • values