Fair dues

6 Mar

It reminds me of those mid 1990s announcements that company X had set up a website (they gained some approving news coverage early in the Web 1.0 era). Marks & Spencer has hit the press with advertisements declaring its move to Fairtrade coffee (and gained a news report in The Guardian too).

Of course, the timing’s good, with Fairtrade Fortnight beginning today. But I can’t imagine many more large organisations gaining much easy press by making a similar announcement. Fairtrade’s good; I support the campaign – who doesn’t?; it’s just that the more successful it becomes, the less newsworthy it will be.

(Congratulations to my first year student who spotted this. The warm-up questions asked them to identify an example of editorial and an example of an advertisement from a newspaper; the follow-up was to identify an example of public relations. Bullseye!)

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