Blog: Chris Brook-CarterHappy New Year - now let's get giving.

Chris Brook-Carter | 5 January 2005

The coverage of the Tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean over the last week and a half has been harrowing to say the least. News reports here in the UK have covered not only the catastrophe itself but also the generosity of the UK people in donating over £70m to charities working in the affected area.

Press releases have also started filtering through from several drinks companies, saying how much they have donated to the relief effort (€700,000 from Pernod Ricard, US$1m from Diageo, for example) and, as usual, as an industry we should be proud to have responded in this typical manner.

It is all too easy for some to become cynical about these statements from companies – are they gloating that they’re giving to needy causes? It is always, as a consequence, a difficult decision whether to print these stories as news. The flip side of this, of course, is should we shame companies that haven’t pledged support by writing about companies which have?

However, a comment piece on the Guardian website makes a stinging, but well argued case about the nature and sums of these corporate donations.

What sounds like generous amounts to the man in the street, the Guardian suggests, are little more than loose change to the multinationals.

As rich and generous as the drinks industry can be, I hope we’re all aware of doing as much as we possibly can.

To read the Guardian report, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1383481,00.html


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