Campbell's canned food drive: "Cause" for cynicism?

Campbell's canned food drive: "Cause" for cynicism?

The 15th annual Stamp Out Hunger canned food drive is tomorrow (5/15). The idea is for us to go to the store, buy some canned food, then leave it in our mailboxes tomorrow. About 230,000 USPS letter carriers in more than 10,000 communities will collect donations and haul them to local food banks, where they will be distributed to the needy. More here.

Giving to the less fortunate is a good thing, of course. The food drive is also a good example of “cause” marketing. By aligning your company with a noble cause, you can elevate your image while promoting your brand. Campbell’s, for example, is donating a million pounds of food to food banks across the country.

It’s a huge event — last year more than 70 million pounds of food was collected. It may be totally altruistic, but some marketing types see a potential danger. They worry that today’s cynical consumers may perceive cause marketing as a mere publicity ploy. After all, it’s no coincidence that the sponsor, Campbell’s, is one of the largest canned food producers in the world.

Could it be they’re doing it just for the bucks?

This idea was briefly explored in a Marketplace Morning Report this morning, but I’d like to hear your take. Comment in the comments, please.

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