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Marketing by Controlling Social Discourse: The Fairtrade Case

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  • Peter Griffiths

Abstract

A non-conventional marketing strategy is used by the owners of a not-for-profit code of practice, Fairtrade. People buy Fairtrade-branded goods because of the social discourse around it – what friends, newspapers, teachers and others tell them about what it guarantees, what it achieves and what is its social acceptability – rather than because of the advertising. The social discourse is favourable to Fairtrade but bears little relation to observable fact. Methods used by the brand owners and others to control and manipulate the social discourse are identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Griffiths, 2015. "Marketing by Controlling Social Discourse: The Fairtrade Case," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 256-271, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecaffa:v:35:y:2015:i:2:p:256-271
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecaf.12123
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    1. Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2015. "Why Firms Avoid Cutting Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(4), pages 862-888, August.
    2. Stephen Kinsella, 2012. "Is Ireland really the role model for austerity?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 223-235.
    3. Philipp Bagus & David Howden, 2011. "Monetary equilibrium and price stickiness: Causes, consequences and remedies," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 383-402, December.
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