Marketing to Change Public Opinion on Climate Change: A Case Study

By John J. McDonnell and Jennifer L. Bartlett.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Corporate advertisers spend far greater budgets than any social marketing campaign and have great potential to change public opinion on the urgent need for action on climate change. However “green-washing” has become a widespread practice by companies that wish to appear to be socially responsible without a genuine commitment and consumers can be very cynical about green marketing campaigns. Can companies be climate change advocates and still satisfy shareholders? This paper offers a case study on an Australian insurance company that argues it can make money from doing the right thing.

Keywords: Marketing, Climate Change, Insurance Case Study, Greenwashing, Corporate Social Responsibility

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.63-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.717MB).

Dr. John J. McDonnell

Senior Lecturer, School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I have previously been an academic economist, a manager with the United Nations and a manager with a large mining company. Currently I am a marketing academic with a Phd in marketing and I have recently committed to research projects on climate change and marketing, although I have other research interests including entertainment marketing and sensorial marketing (e.g. use of scent etc. in marketing). I am open to all research in climate change and marketing but I am currently investigating the use of marketing to change public opinion and to enhance the perceived legitimacy of an organisation, as well as defining segments of the population in terms of their actual level of commitment to supporting organisations that claim environmental responsibility.

Dr. Jennifer L. Bartlett

Senior Lecturer, School of AMPR, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Jennifer L Bartlett is Senior Lecturer in the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Jennifer’s research, teaching and practice are in public relations and corporate communication with particular emphasis on public relations, reputation, corporate social responsibility and legitimacy using institutional theory. She has produced more than 30 academic scripts for national and international academic forums and has received a number of best paper awards. She has raised more than $100,000 in funding (grants, research and consultancy). Currently, she holds the position of Secretary of the public relations division of ICA, Chair of the ICA Membership Committee and is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (QLD). She worked as Public Affairs Manager in the banking and energy industries and continues her close association with industry practice.


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