Culture, Science & Society Presentations Videos

Steer Clear of the Corporate Moral Creed

Source: Brian Holdsworth via YouTube

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Music written and generously provided by Paul Jernberg. Find out more about his work as a composer here:

Why is it that corporations today are so enthusiastic about punctuating the work they do with moral instruction when it really has nothing to do with who they are or what the purpose of their corporate enterprise is? For example, a major telecommunications company in Canada has assigned themselves to be the champion of mental health by encouraging conversation and destigmatization in their advertising content. But honestly, if I want to grow in my understanding of mental health and the afflictions of real people, I’m not going to turn to my cell phone carrier for advice – because, why would I?

Coca-Cola, who needs no introduction, elaborates on the work they do in their mission and vision – where it’s all about love, sustainability, and our shared future. This from a company that has been accused of being the worst plastics polluter in the world by Ethical Consumer. If they were honest about their mission, it would be about selling as much poisonous and nutritionally vacuous soft drinks as they can with little regard of the health implications or the environment. So given the disparity, between what corporations actually do vs how they describe themselves and their incessant habit of lecturing everyone about their moral “values” which they seem to think we should adopt – doesn’t it make you wonder why they do this, why they spend obscene amounts of advertising dollars to perch themselves on a high horse and pontificate to the rest of us? Up until very recent times, we had our best people contemplating the big moral questions for the sake of educating the rest of us on how to live well. They would study these questions, read what others have contributed, and offer their own thoughts. And while they didn’t always agree or get things right, their motives were simple. They wanted to understand our ethical needs and gain insights to share with the rest of us. They weren’t simultaneously blending it with the objective of selling cars or something like that.

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Header image: Sean Pollock via