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Nestle Infant Formula Controversy Essay

1669 words - 7 pages

RUNNING HEAD: Nestlé: The Infant Formula Controversy

Nestlé: The Infant Formula Controversy
CASE 4

April VanRivers
Adv. International Marketing

March 24, 2013

1. What are the responsibilities of companies in this or similar situations?

Domestic companies and multinational companies have responsibilities that portray their corporate and social stance as an organization. Many of these responsibilities are indicated in the vision or mission statement. Ethical and socially responsible conduct should be the cornerstone of any organization’s core values and strategic management process (Godiwalla & Damanpour, 2006). For an MNC, ethical and social responsibility charge becomes ...view middle of the document...

An excerpt from Diageo’s website reads “The Diageo Marketing Code governs every element of the research, development and marketing of our brands. It guides us as we gather insights on adults of legal purchase age, as we develop products that appeal to these adults and as we package and promote all of our brands.  The Diageo Marketing Code is firmly embedded within our research, innovation, sales and marketing functions in all markets in which we conduct business” (Diageo, 2013). The latter statement is the responsibility that any MNC in a similar situation to that of Nestle should abide by.

2. What could Nestlé have done to have avoided the accusations of “killing Third World babies” and still market its product?

One element that was missing in Nestlé’s case was the education of the cultural environments and the awareness of the implications of marketing powder formula to third world countries with inadequate water supply. From the beginning, extensive research should have been done on the product that they were going to introduce. Introducing a powdered milk product to a country that has contaminated streams of water was not a good strategic decision. The product should have been liquid based, where no water would have been needed. In addition, mothers should have been educated on the formula while in the hospital. Nestle could have taken the initiative to make certain that education was a requirement. Many of the mothers were unaware of how they were supposed to administer the formula to their babies. The education of infant formula would have need to been implemented in continuous marketing campaigns along with their existing campaigns. There are many things that Nestle could have done in order to avoid being accused of “killing third world babies”. However, during the time Nestle did not have an efficient corporate social responsibility. In fact, the terms social and corporate responsibility did not exist until the late 1960s and early 1970s (Wikipedia).

3. After Nestlé’s experience, how do you suggest it, or any other company, can protect itself in the future?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is key for all MNCs. Being that Nestlé’s incident happened during a time when corporate social responsibility was newly introduced and not fully segmented, if Nestle would have had a CSR initiative this occurrence could have been avoided to a certain degree. Many CSR initiatives include the responsibility of doing a part in assisting with the well being of a country. There are actually two types of CSR initiatives. One type is geared toward donating money or employee time to charities and the other type is putting together a real plan to produce products or provide services that are in the best interests of society (Truist, 2013). “The most successful corporate social responsibility programs integrate these two types of CSR together to show a true commitment to a cause. For example, a company that uses sustainable materials in their...

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