Best Cause-Related Marketing

The Body Shop Canada shines a floodlight on the hopeless and forgotten

The Body Shop Canada keeps the flame of justice, compassion and hope that was Anita Roddick burning brightly in its 2011 campaign to end child sex trafficking around the world.

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Most corporations do CSR. Very few do CSR for causes the very discussion of which borders on taboo. The Body Shop is one of those rare companies.

The Body Shop Canada’s 2011 campaign “Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People” (SSTCYP) carries on exactly in the spirit and tradition of The Body Shop’s founder, Anita Roddick, who died in 2007.

Roddick in her too-short lifetime was a powerful voice speaking out on behalf of the weak and defenseless all over the world. Strategic Objectives, a PR agency in Toronto, conceived an imaginative “high-profile national public and media relations campaign that would educate Canadians from coast to coast” about sex trafficking of young people.

The Body Shop Canada and Strategic Objectives met all their measurable goals and fulfilled every one of their qualitative goals with their 2011 SSTCYP campaign, including:

  • Bringing sex trafficking to the attention of the Canadian federal government.
  • Securing goal-surpassing, positive branded media coverage for SSTCYP.
  • Cementing The Body Shop’s reputation for taking on horrific but little-known abuses.
  • Giving its target demographic important ethical reasons for supporting its products.
  • Publicizing a film, “Playground,” that exposed the child sex industry in North America.
  • Publicizing other little-known key facts about child sex trafficking.
  • Creating an anti-sex-trafficking petition at every Body Shop Canada store for customers to sign; more than 570,000 Canadians signed these petitions calling for immediate action.
  • Doing all this (and much more) on a very modest budget in the tens of thousands.

Both company and agency show how far cause dollars can be stretched by ingenuity and imagination in the service of the ultimate forgotten cause, and for this they earn the 2012 PR Daily Award for Best Cause-Related Marketing. The company has brought light and hope to thousands of cruelly abused children, and has put the public deep in its debt.

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