‘Fear profiteering’: sometimes non-profit = big profit!

April 28, 2011

Check out this paper edited by Cohen etal… “THE FEAR PROFITEERS: Do ‘Socially Responsible’ Businesses Sow Health Scares to Reap Monetary Rewards?”  It’s an interesting read covering some of the more notable topics that have driven consumer fears and anxiety in the past several years including: the infamous cancer causing apples, silicone implants and the hoopla surrounding rBST.

Notable quotables…

“It is important to emphasize that the media is not the instigator of this plague of anxiety. In fact, we need the media to help us sort the barrage of information we are presented with every day. But, at the same time, our vulnerability and fears hinge on that need. In other words, instead of being placated by the norm, we cling to the drama…”

“…the press does not print “There was no wolf, after all” stories when alarms are shown to be false or overblown. The press and public remember the “Wolf!” story.The task that faces environmental organizations and [socially responsible busnesses] in selling fears to the public is far less daunting than that faced by companies trying to respond to the often over-hyped accusations. In the end, society loses. Useful products are lost for no gain in health.”

“There is no reason why a “socially responsible” business … should not be held to the same ethical standards by which every other business is judged.”

Download this file

For related blog entries see:

Frightening people is simply irresponsible… http://camiryan.com/2010/12/11/the-wizardry-of-oz-a-peek-behind-the-curtain-of-the-anti-gm-movement/ 

Our fears don’t always match the facts… http://camiryan.com/2010/06/28/why-our-fears-dont-always-match-the-facts-looking-at-gm-salmon/

One vegan’s account of a feedlot… http://camiryan.com/2010/06/25/one-vegans-account-of-a-cattle-feedlot/

3 thoughts on “‘Fear profiteering’: sometimes non-profit = big profit!

  1. Pingback: I smell a rat. « Cami Ryan

  2. Pingback: “Tell your story… we’re listening.” Kari Doerksen « Cami Ryan

  3. Reblogged this on Cami Ryan and commented:

    Post-retraction fall-out. Will the retraction of Seralini study be ignored by the media? The media never prints “Oh, wait! There was no wolf after all!” Most likely, Seralini will use the retraction as a way to re-configure, re-group and create a new, scary, narrative. “New Wolf!”

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