20 May, 2021
How do you address corporate responsibility if there are problems that are inherent in what your business does?
Well, there are two main routes: ignore it entirely, or address the elephant in the room. Inevitably, doing the latter can be very tricky, but doing it well can be the difference between a business sinking or swimming. So, we’re always interested to see the ways in which different businesses try to address their responsibility.
The e-commerce payment platform, Klarna, caught our eye this week with its new, interactive installations hoping to engage young people across the country to teach them about its “buy now, pay later” service through a “mythical world” with seven murals and interactive challenges.
This is in response to misconceptions about the brand and criticism of the service for getting people into debt by purchasing more than they can afford and having their credit score damaged when they do not pay in time. Although the company does point to several small financial capability initiatives it has launched, its focus is largely on addressing what it calls “ridiculous myths”, and detailing and defending its logic, rather than helping its customers better manage their financial wellbeing.
While Klarna hasn’t put its head in the sand entirely about its social responsibility, this initiative feels like a missed opportunity for properly tackling its responsibility head-on. In spite of this, the immersive aspect of this information campaign is novel and engaging, while transparency to set the record straight is always welcome – even if some of this confusion surrounds the average age of its customers or the colour of its branding…
By Patrick Bapty