As I talk with friends who are conscious about the origin of their purchases, I find the same dilemma, “We don’t want to support China, but so many of the goods we need originate from there.”
What can I answer? I’m typing this on my Mac, which was designed in America, yet assembled in China. Luckily, larger media outlets such as Diane Sawyer’s World News (ABC) are asking the same questions.
While motivations may vary — some I know want American jobs back in America, others may be of an Occupy mindset, and still others may despise passing money over to benefit communist regimes. I personally, can not stand financially supporting the prison labor of laogai, the rape of Tibet, and the extreme violations of women’s rights via China’s One Child Policy (OCP).
The OCP continues to gain attention from US press and legislators. MSNBC’s Brian Williams recently reported on the US being the new destination of choice for affluent Chinese women to have their babies:
“The United States has become a favorite birth destination for affluent Chinese women who want to have more children but avoid fines and scrutiny by their government. The American born babies are automatically granted citizenship by U.S. law and the parents plan to maintain that status for their children. Once back in China, they never register their babies as Chinese citizens, enabling them to continue to stay off the radar of government officials.”
Legislation was proposed earlier this year by Congressman Chris Smith (H.R. 2121, the “China Democracy Promotion Act of 2011“) that would allow the US to “deny visas to to certain Chinese nationals in the government who promote human rights abuses …This legislation will send a message that abuses by these officials that go unchecked within China will not be ignored by the international community.” Over half of the judiciary statement addresses the OCP as a basis for the Bill.
So the question still remains: the media is addressing the issue, legislature is addressing the issue, as are numerous human rights groups. Yet, we still feel it is hard to find alternatives.
When I did marketing, many moons ago, I was always forced to look at the money trail. Communist, Capitalist — it doesn’t matter, so many general actions are based on consumer transactions. It was that same marketing thought process that led me to another realization: brand building and advertising of years ago does not exist as it does today. What used to be a one way street — of MadMen selling to us in magazines, on radio and on TV has been changed into a two-way street. Brands and retailers clamor to be where there customers are.
Walmart for example, has over 11 million fans on Facebook, Target is just shy of 8 million. And while they post away incessantly about sales, they have introduced a new phenomenon, content moderators. PR Agencies and corporations alike are scooping up content developers and ‘social media wizards’ to help them generate the most ‘conversations’, ‘likes’, and ‘shares’ in the virtual world.
With that encouraged conversation, there comes the two-way street. Gone are the days of sending letters to an invisible ‘customer service agent’ who may just sweep an angry customer letter under the rug, or avoid bringing it up in a weekly meeting.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.