Green campaigners target corporations as way to effect change

Environmental activists in the U.S., weary of battling with the largely unsympathetic Bush administration, have increasingly been targeting their efforts at other world power brokers — transnational corporations. Their success to date has been fueled by a sort of guerilla advertising — innocuously dubbed “market campaigns” — in which activists creatively associate a company’s brand with the harm they’re doing to the environment. PR-conscious corporations, ever striving to be well-liked by both consumers and shareholders, often cave to the pressure, finding, like computer-maker Dell did after agreeing to offer a recycling service, that environmental benevolence isn’t economic suicide after all. “What got us really going was that we found we can meet our business needs, we can meet our customers’ needs, and we can do what the stakeholders are asking of us, all at the same time,” said Dell spokesperson Bryant Hilton. Other successful campaigns have targeted Citibank, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase.