`This book is not simply the best book on the remarkable phenomenon of today's ethical consumer. It is a gift of advice and insight, from the people that know best, to the cause of tomorrow. Many of the writers deserve the plaudits of being pioneers of a new consumer movement. These are the issues of our time' - Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of the UK's National Consumer Council (NCC) Who are ethical consumers and why are they on the rise? Leading the way towards answering this question, The Ethical Consumer is an indispensable introduction to the subject. Exploring areas like boycotts and fair trade projects, it gathers together the diverse experiences of scholars, campaigners and business practitioners from the international community.The chapters in this book explore: - ethical consumer behaviours, motivation and narratives - the social, political and theoretical contexts in which ethical consumers operate- the responsibilities of businesses and the effectiveness of ethical consumer actions Contributions are informed by a broad range of research methods, from case studies, focus groups to surveys and interviews.The text is of interest to business related graduates, undergraduates and their tutors on courses relating to consumption. It will also be relevant to academics in other disciplines, as well as to politicians, producers, practitioners, campaigners and not least consumers.
Chapter 5: Informing Ethical Consumers
Informing Ethical Consumers
It is generally accepted that awareness of environmental and social issues is rising, driven by a growing volume of easily accessible information, in which the advent of the internet, and increased media engagement with the issues, have played an important role (Beck, 1999: 102; Langerak et al., 1998; Nicholls, 2002; Peattie, 1992; Thøgersen, 1999). Prior awareness of ethical issues in turn affects a consumer's response to product information: ‘The main mechanism for labels (or brands) to work is not to change or make up the mind of the consumer in a shop, but to confirm an earlier decision made outside the market place influenced by marketing, the media, and crucially, civil processes’ (Zadek et al., 1998a: 35).
But while studies ...