Your weekly helping of five interesting ideas to take you into the weekend. Curated by Good Business and delivered straight to your inbox first thing on a Friday, if you subscribe here.
(1) Twice as Nice
If you’re a regular reader of Friday 5 you’ll have noticed that we’re big advocates of brand-led campaigns that address body image issues, especially those that encourage a healthy self-esteem in women. We’ve featured a range that have been well-received in Friday 5 over the last few months, including H&M’s ‘She’s a Lady’, Lonely Label’s ‘Lonely Girls’, and BodyForm’s ‘Trapeze’. This week, however, we’re talking about Dove’s latest attempt under their #SpeakBeautiful banner for the opposite reason. The campaign, originally launched in February with the goal of making social media a more positive place, has been ridiculed on Twitter after a newly-released ad asked women to encourage their friends to post two positive tweets for every negative tweet posted (about herself or anyone else). Though dubbed a self-esteem project by Dove, consumers seem to feel that the request is condescending and polices women’s self-expression rather than encourages it. Dove’s previous campaign ‘Real Beauty’ is generally regarded to have gotten it right by addressing body image in an uplifting but empowering way, so this instance is an important reminder that consumers will hold brands to any standards set and not let them coast on previously-earned goodwill.
A study by Georgetown Law’s Center for Privacy and Technology has revealed that 80 percent of the photos that appear in the FBI’s facial-recognition network are of non-criminals, and only 8 percent show known criminals. Furthermore, researchers found that many of the various local and state police departments that have access to these databases have few checks on how they use them, and so some have used the biometric data for questionable purposes. For example, an Arizona sheriff’s office downloaded every driver’s license and mugshot from every resident of Honduras, provided by the Honduran government, to its facial-recognition database. There is a great lack of trust and understanding by the public over what data is held and how it is used by government institutions (or private companies), and realisations like this one are likely to inspire shock and worry. Our work with the Wellcome Trust on clarifying understanding on what types of data are collected and used by our health systems has highlighted to us the importance of education on issues of data privacy and protection, and so we hope to see greater efforts by organisations to make clear what data they have access to, how it is secured, and why it is needed.
(3) Breakfast for Days
At the World Food Prize ceremony this week, Kellogg's announced a new goal to create three billion ‘Better Days’ for people worldwide by 2025 as part of their global purpose platform ‘Breakfasts for Better Days’ The five commitments made to ensure the goal is met are: donating 2.5 billion servings of food via food banks around the world, expanding breakfast programs to reach 2 million children worldwide, supporting 500,000 farmers, their families and communities with Climate Smart Agriculture practices, committing to 45,000 volunteer days by Kellogg’s employees, and engaging 300 million people to join Kellogg’s in its hunger relief efforts through campaigns and social media. We think this is a great example of an overarching commitment that brings together a wide range of impact activity in a way that is clearly understood by employees, stakeholders, and consumers alike. Here’s to three billion!
(4) Talking Tech
The latest need to be addressed by a chatbot is education around online safety for children. Oyoty was designed to help children up to the age of 12 decide what is safe and appropriate to share on various forms of social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The app was built by a Swiss startup in partnership with UK child protection charity Internet Matters, and works by scanning what kids are posting publicly and flagging problem posts to children themselves to help them understand why it’s not a good idea to share an overly provocative selfie, for example, or to publish their phone number. The approach integrates education and enables two-way discussion, as the bot is able to ‘talk’ to the child if they do not immediately agree that a particular piece of content should have been flagged. This is an elegant addition to the growing list of initiatives that tackle an issue we consider to be incredibly important. We’re similarly fans of the #O2SmallTalks campaign, designed by telecom giant O2 to encourage parents to talk child safety with their children. The brand has produced a set of helpful resources and a helpline with the NSPCC to support those parents who are keen to have the conversation but are not entirely confident in how to ensure safety online. Let us know how your conversations go by responding to this email, or by tweeting with the #O2SmallTalks hashtag.
(5) Wage to Go!
In early 2015, Walmart announced it would pay its workers more – a huge move considering the retailer is most-commonly associated with cost-cutting to drive success – and this week the New York Times evaluated the experiment, finding that in the short run, paying people better improves both the workforce and the shoppers’ experience, though not necessarily profitability. The pay rises were accompanied by increased training and more opportunities for career development and this plan of ‘investments’ was designed around the economic notion that employers who pay workers more than the going rate will get more loyal, harder-working, productive employees in return. So far the retailer has seen mostly gains: By early 2016, the proportion of stores hitting their targeted customer-service ratings had rebounded to 75 percent and sales are rising again. Though it will take a few years to see how Walmart’s ‘investments’ will reflect on its bottom line, we are of course believers that happier and more loyal customers and employees can only make a company more profitable, rather than less. We call the approach Good Business.