Editor's Comment: Riots Pose Tough CSR Questions

Article excerpt

What are we wearing today as we flick through Marketing? Head-to-toe Adidas, acquired from JD Sports? No, thought not, somehow.

In the aftermath of last week's riots, some marketers will be pondering the smoking ruins of their brand, at least as it is viewed by the middle classes. Most of the rioters were in their teens and early-20s - the exact demographic courted by the makers of sporting apparel Brand-owners were quick to condemn those whose clothes bore their logos, now associated with burning cars.

Was this disingenuous? After all, Adidas will this week launch a campaign featuring a 'rapper, gangmember and convicted criminal', as one national newspaper described the brand's long-term ambassador, Snoop Dogg.

You want edgy and dangerous? You got it. How else do you prise open the wallets of the 'yoof'? Meanwhile, bloggers and Twitter users made jokes about bookseller Waterstone's not needing to board up its windows, unless the featured book was a spin-off from The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Some brands may emerge stronger, through their own actions, or those of their loyal consumers. …