Teaching activity

Pressure Groups Who Changed the Strategy of Multinationals

Jim Riley

30th August 2016

Can pressure groups really change the way multinational businesses act? This excellent piece from in The Guardian highlights examples of social and environmental campaigns that pressured companies – and whether or not their behavior changed as a result.

There are some classic examples in there.

One of the most famous was Nike in the 1990's which the article describes as the "granddaddy of all activist campaigns".

When Nike was found to be using child labour to stitch Nike-branded footballs (along with other sporting goods and footwear), the outcry was significant. And remember that this was many years before the emergence of social media as a way of building momentum and awareness by pressure groups.

Nike's then CEO Phil was famously quoted:

"The Nike product has become synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime and arbitrary abuse, I truly believe that the American consumer does not want to buy products made in abusive conditions.''

Did Nike change? You can read more about Nike's response in this article.

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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