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Letter to the editor

Pure PR

by D+C | E+Z
Metro’s responsibility for markets and people E+Z/D+C, 12/2007, p. 456ff

I read a rather unusual contribution in the December edition of D+C/E+Z – unusual because it was pure corporate PR. It is interesting to read that kind of texts, and I have been doing so for many years for professional reasons, because I like to know how companies present themselves.

However, the question is, who checks the praise heaped on Metro by Metro-employee Marion Sollbach? I assume she receives a decent salary from the company to present them as the saviour of the world as often and as well as possible. No, I am not insinuating she has done anything wrong; what she writes may well be true. Or maybe not. Or maybe it’s only half true.

Other companies also proclaim their commitment to the world’s poor, to nature and to the future of humankind in the same or a similar way. It does not sound much different at Bayer Crop Science, Monsanto, Chiquita, Starbucks, BP or Shell – just think of the good they did in Nigeria alone! It brings tears to your eyes.

I have been involved in North-South issues for more than 25 years, and have worked in Asia and Africa. Unfortunately, the truth is occasionally just a little different to what corporations would have us believe with their smooth rhetoric of eco-responsibility, corporate social responsibility and what not. Those who are interested in what is really going on have to source their information elsewhere – from newspapers such as “Le Monde Diplomatique” or “New Internationalist”, for example, or the websites of large non-governmental organisations.

Wolfram Frommlet, Ravensburg