Title

A Critical Case Study of Cause-Related Marketing in the U.S.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2013

Publication Title

Administrative Theory & Praxis

Volume

35

Issue

2

First Page

2290

Last Page

290305

Abstract

This article examines a critical case study of cause-related marketing (CRM) held in conjunction with a university's United Way campaign. CRM involves the sale of products with a percentage of the price going to charity. It is positioned as part of a broader discourse about ethical consumption and the power of citizen consumers in a neoliberal market society. Drawing on data from interviews, observation, and document analysis, this research examines how CRM organizers frame their efforts and the implications for understanding the potential of ethical consumption. It shows that organizers frame CRM around engagement, brand recognition, and easy participation, but there is little that connects purchases to the end-goal of helping those in need or making the world a better place.