Responsibility and Integrity
Passing the Smell Test: Corporate Social Responsibility and Integrity Must go Hand-In-Hand
By Steven Schad
The camera follows three teens as they enter the convenience store. Cut to the inside of the store as they approach the counter. We see the store clerk, with a bemused expression, point to a "We Card" sign on the counter.
A woman's voice, assuming a serious tone, earnestly describes how Philip Morris cares about young people and has distributed over 900,000 "We Card" kits to retail stores. Various scenes follow of happy, equally earnest store employees responsibly taking steps to prevent young, average looking kids from getting their hands on Philip Morris' flagship product.
I visited the company's web site at philipmorrisusa.com. A text box dominates their home page reading:
"Our goal is to be the most responsible, effective and respected developer, manufacturer and marketer of consumer products, especially products intended for adults."
What is that smell? Sniff.
I click on the first link under this text box, "About Us: Mission & Values". I click through to find their statement of values. The very first value in their list reads as follows.
"We believe in operating with integrity, trust and respect, both as individuals and as a company."
It goes on to say:
"We believe in sharing with others, unleashing the tremendous resources of our people as a force for good into the communities in which we live and work."