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Integrating public service and marketing differentiation: an analysis of the American Express Corporation’s “Charge Against Hunger” promotion program


  • Richard Nelson


  • Ali Kanso


  • Steven Levitt



Dating back to the 1980s, American Express (AMEX) has been a corporate leader in successfully applying cause-related marketing (CRM) to boost membership and credit card usage in troubled markets. During a downturn in the mid-1990s, AMEX and Share Our Strength (SOS), a nonprofit organization tackling the problem of hunger in the United States, formed a strategic alliance to create one of the best known and most highly touted CRM campaigns. AMEX implemented an innovative cause branding (CB) effort to convince its cardholders to “Charge Against Hunger” (CAH) by utilizing their AMEX credit cards more frequently during the holiday season. Over the 4-year life of the program, the issue of hunger in the United States was put somewhat higher on the public agenda as more than US $21 million were raised for SOS projects. This study assesses how AMEX’s public relations efforts contributed to the success of the CAH campaign. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Nelson & Ali Kanso & Steven Levitt, 2007. "Integrating public service and marketing differentiation: an analysis of the American Express Corporation’s “Charge Against Hunger” promotion program," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 1(4), pages 275-293, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:1:y:2007:i:4:p:275-293 DOI: 10.1007/s11628-006-0013-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pracejus, John W. & Olsen, G. Douglas, 2004. "The role of brand/cause fit in the effectiveness of cause-related marketing campaigns," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 635-640, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo Server Izquierdo & Jordi Capó Vicedo, 2012. "Corporate social responsibility of financial organizations in the social economy: a case study on savings banks," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, pages 99-115.


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