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How consumer activism is helping marketers and organizations stand for more

The Internet is a powerful thing, explains Philippa White, Founder of TIE. She spoke to HT's Contributing Editor, Karen Rivoire, about how it is keeping brands in check.

How is consumer activism helping marketers and organizations stand for more?

I think it’s such an exciting time, simply because of the Internet. Knowledge is power. People are much more aware of what is happening and in turn how they can be a part of that change.

I was watching the film Leonardo Di Caprio just launched called Before The Flood. I think everyone needs to watch that, it’s a terrifying film, but it’s obviously based on real truth and very real situations we are all facing right now. In that film, there’s an interview with Barack Obama and Leonardo Di Caprio, and they are talking about climate change. Leo was asking Barack about the challenges he faced around pushing for more change around climate change, and Barack Obama said, “If someone came into power now and started to campaign against climate science, reality has an amazing way to bop you on the nose if you aren’t paying attention. The public is starting to realize the science and you can’t dispute it. It’s starting to affect many people directly, and the public will start to pressure governments to take action.”


I think it’s not happening enough, but the more people that are impacted by things, the more that people will start to lobby the government. Consumer activism works in a very similar way. In the 1990’s you had the boycott against Nike, for the way that they were doing business. It fundamentally impacted Nike’s bottom line. They now do things in a much more open way. They are much more transparent. I think even now, there’s the big campaign against the Daily Mail for all of the ridiculous headlines they are spewing.

Now people have a voice to make companies accountable, and I think that’s the power of the consumer’s voice. And how this is making brands and companies more responsible.