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The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumption and Consumer Studies by J. Michael Ryan, Daniel Thomas Cook

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Socially Responsible Marketing (SRM)

ELLIS JONES

Holy Cross College, USA

DOI: 10.1002/9781118989463.wbeccs215

Socially responsible marketing (SRM), sometimes referred to as ethical corporate marketing or green marketing, refers to the practices that some companies adopt to acknowledge the larger social and environmental impacts of their products and services. SRM signals to consumers that the company takes responsibility for and aims to reduce the negative consequences of its operation. These practices fall under the larger rubric of corporate social responsibility (CSR) but are easily conflated with opposing practices: socially irresponsible marketing (SIM), more commonly referred to as greenwashing, the practice of masking poor social/environmental records with deceptive campaigns that falsely tout responsible behaviors or commitments.

Early calls for SRM included restrictions in marketing aimed toward children, particularly vis-à-vis products like tobacco, alcohol, and gambling. Consumer advocates recently added “junk food” to this list of products, in part due to increasing rates of childhood obesity. More recently, some consumers have expressed a desire for SRM that conveys specific, transparent, accurate, and easily understandable information about corporations' social and environmental responsibility. In other words, some consumers view SRM as a venue for educating the public about the consequences of the consumptive practices.

Authentic SRM involves claims that are easily ...

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