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SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GAMBLING,
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
Dr Mark Griffiths
Professor of Gambling Studies
International Gaming Research Unit
Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University
United Kingdom
mark.griffiths@ntu.ac.uk
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GAMBLING
• Underlying objective of a socially
responsible code of conduct should
be to maximise opportunity and
minimise harm
• Operators need to develop a culture
that is supported by socially
responsible policies and procedures
• Social responsibility is fundamental
to the long-term development of the
gaming industry
13/02/14

2
• Most
operators
are
now
developing a culture that is
supported by socially responsible
policies and procedures
• As Ray Bates has said, social
responsible practices in gambling
are “a necessity not a luxury”
• Some gaming companies claim
that social responsibility has
underpinned
their
gaming
practices for 60 years even when
it wasn’t called that.
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3
PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE
MAXIMISING
FUN

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MINIMISING
HARM

4
RESPONSIBLE GAMING

Research

13/02/14

Game design

Informed player
choice

Player support

5
Understand
the risk of
gambling

Set a time
limit for
gambling
13/02/14

Gambling
outcomes are
not
predictable

Don't gamble
when you are
drunk

Gamblers
lose in the
long run

Don't borrow
to finance
gambling

Set a budget
for gambling

Seek
proactive
help
6
WHERE DOES RESPONSIBILITY LIE?
Individual
Characteristics

Structural
Characteristics

Gambling
Behaviour

Situational
Characteristics
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7
MAIN AREAS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
• No
misleading/irresponsible
targeted
advertising/promotion
• Actively complying with
relevant codes of conduct

all

• Giving
players
as
much
information to make informed
choices
• Having fair and well designed
games to protect players
• Having product advice that
doesn’t encourage excessive
play
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8
• Denying
vulnerable
minors)
• Displaying
information

access
to
groups (e.g.,
of

helpful

• Providing sources of help
for gambling problems
• Ongoing staff training on
all
aspects
of
social
responsibility
• Having active support for
social impact initiatives
• Having a core commitment
to social responsibility
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9
PERCEIVED CONCERNS AND ISSUES
• Great deal of speculation
over the role of marketing
and advertising as a possible
stimulus
to
increased
gambling,
and
as
a
contributor
to
problem
gambling
• Various lobby groups claim
advertising has played a role
in the widespread cultural
acceptance of gambling
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10
• These groups claim
advertising tends to
use
glamorous
images and beautiful
people
to
sell
gambling
• Does
advertising
create
unrealistic
hopes of winning
that
may
later
trigger a gambling
addiction?
13/02/14

11
LOTTERY ADVERTISING: SOME EXAMPLES
• 'Winning is easy'
• 'It might as well be you'
• 'Win a truckload of cash'
• 'Play by your rules'
• 'Spend for the rest of your life'
• 'Win a million, the fewer numbers you
choose, the easier it is to win'
• 'It's easy to win'
• '$600,000 giveaway simply by inserting
card into the machine'
• 'Wins are multiplying like bunnies’
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12
• US states routinely promote their lotteries with get-rich-quick slogans
that sometimes denigrate the values of hard work, initiative,
responsibility, perseverance, optimism, investing for the future, and
even education.

• "All you need is a dollar and a dream" (New York)
• "Work is nothing but heart attack-inducing drudgery" (Massachusetts)
• "How to get from Washington Boulevard to Easy Street" (Illinois)
• "His [Martin Luther King's] vision lives on. Honor the dream” (D.C.
Lottery)
13/02/14

13
THE INDUSTRY’S RESPONSE
• “We are selling fantasies and dreams”
• “Everyone
excessive’

knows

the

claims

are

• “Big claims are made to catch people's
attention”
• “People don't really
advertisements”

believe

• “Business
advertising
necessarily
emphasise
aspects of products”
13/02/14

these

does
not
'negative'
14
ACADEMIC VIEWS ON
GAMBLING ADVERTISING
• Content analyses of gambling adverts have
reported that gambling is portrayed as a
normal, enjoyable form of entertainment
involving fun and excitement (Monoghan et
al, 2008; McMullan & Miller, 2008)
• Large number of gambling adverts are
misleading (Monoghan et al, 2008)
• Furthermore, they are often centred on
friends and social events (Korn, Hurson &
Reynolds, 2004).

13/02/14

15
• Media gambling exposure leads to
positive
attitudes
towards
gambling and the effects of media
gambling exposure were stronger
than the effects of counter
advertising media exposure (Lee
et al, 2008)
• ‘Positive portraying’ of gambling is
not per se harmful as long as
consumers also perceive sufficient
and accurate information on
gambling-related risks (Planzer &
Wardle, 2012)
13/02/14

16
• A science-informed regulatory approach uses empirical data to
examine the relationship between gambling advertising and
disordered gambling (Planzer & Wardle, 2012).
• However, demonstrating the negative effects of gambling are solely
attributable to advertising is hard to demonstrate empirically
• “There is no more difficult, complex, or controversial problem in
marketing than measuring the influence of sales” (Bass, 1969)
• “If demonstrating a link between advertising and sale is complex,
demonstrating a link advertising and broader gambling behaviour is
even more so” (Planzer & Wardle, 2012).
• Advertising effects are not uniform and ‘maturity’ and ‘immaturity’ of
the market will have an impact (e.g., adaptation)
13/02/14

17
• The likelihood of large financial gain
is often central theme (“It could be
you”) with gambling also viewed as a
way to escape day-to-day pressures.
• A number of authors claim that
gambling
advertising
plays
an
important
role
in
“normalizing”
gambling, increasing participation
and
contributing
to
problem
development (Adams, 2004).
• Dyall
(2004)
also
claims
that
gambling advertising targets high-risk
populations (e.g., ethnic minorities).
13/02/14

18
• Research has found that there is a
large public awareness of gambling
advertising
• Problem gamblers often mention
advertising as a trigger to gambling
(e.g., Amey, 2001; Grant & Kim, 2001;
Abbott, 2001; Binde, 2009).

• Similar findings have also been
found among adolescent gamblers –
one-third of disordered gamblers
often or sometimes gambled after
viewing a gambling ad (Derevensky
et al, 2010)
13/02/14

19
• Reviews (Griffiths, 2005; Planzer &
Wardle, 2012) noted that almost all of
the data on gambling advertising
concerned attitudes in some way.
• Very little of these data provide
insight into the relationship between
advertising and problem gambling.
• Advertising is an environmental factor
that has the power to shape attitudes
and behaviours relating to gambling –
but the strength is unclear (Planzer &
Wardle, 2012)
13/02/14

20
ADVERTISING CODE ADHERENCE
• Do not promote
individuals

gambling

to

vulnerable

• Do not appeal to under-18s, especially by
reflecting or being associated with youth
culture
• Do not exploit cultural beliefs or traditions
about gambling or luck
• Do not condone or feature gambling in a
working environment
• Do not exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations,
credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge
of under-18s or other vulnerable individuals
13/02/14

21
• Promote gambling in adult environments
and media at appropriate times
• Avoid promoting gambling in non-gambling
areas
• Focus on entertainment rather than gaming
• Don’t feature anyone who is (or seems)
under 25 years gambling or playing a
significant role.
• Avoid sending out promotional materials to
self-excluders
• Comply
with
all
codes
of
conduct
(Advertising Standards Authorities, Trade
organization such as WLA)
13/02/14

22
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23
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24
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25
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26
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27
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28
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29
EXAMPLE OF BEST PRACTICE
(Loto-Quebec)

• Disallows any advertising that is overly
aggressive
• Rejects concepts liable to incite the interest
of children
• Prohibits the use of spokespeople who are
popular among youth
• Prohibits placement of advertisements within
media programs viewed mainly by minors
• Highlights the odds of winning
13/02/14

30
• TV commercials for new products
devote 20% of their airtime to
promoting gambling helpline and
warnings about problem gambling.
• Prohibits targeting of any particular
group or community for product
promotion
• The Chinese community did not agree
with making references to its customs
in order to promote the game.
• Out of respect for this community, the
game was immediately suspended.
13/02/14

31
BONUSES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
• Many
promotions
include
welcome bonuses, initial deposit
bonuses, retention bonuses, reactivation of account bonuses
and VIP bonuses.
• The issue here is to what extent
the use of promotional ‘hooks’ to
generate
new
custom
or
maintain repeat patronage can
be regarded as a socially
responsible strategy.
13/02/14

32
• In gambling, there is a
fine
line
between
customer
enhancement
and customer exploitation,
particularly when it comes
to
facilitating
new
clientele
and
repeat
patronage.
• The perception of what
others think about a
particular
practice
are
sometimes given more
weight
than
what
it
actually
means
in
13/02/14
practice.

33
• Some academic writings on the use of bonus
promotions in offline gambling environments
but these are based on observational
anecdotes rather than empirical research.
• Bonuses are used to entice the consumer in
several retail environments.
• What makes them especially appealing in a
gambling
environment are
the
obvious
similarities of the structural characteristics of
such bonuses and gambling events in general risk, uncertainty, interval- ratio reinforcement
etc.
• Furthermore, the appeal is strengthened since
gamblers feel they are ‘getting something for
nothing’.
13/02/14

34
GENERAL VS PROPORTIONAL BONUSES
(Griffiths & Parke, 2003; Griffiths, 2010)

• There is a distinction between two fundamentally different forms of
bonuses – the ‘general bonus’ and the ‘proportional bonus’.
• These different types of bonuses may have different implications in
terms of social responsibility.
• General bonuses are those offers that are provided irrespective of
the type of player - for example, an occasional gambler is as equally
entitled to the bonus as a ‘heavy’ gambler.
• Proportional bonuses are those offers that depend on how long
and/or frequently the player gambles with a particular gaming
establishment.
13/02/14

35
• This
means
that
‘heavy’
gamblers
would
receive
disproportionately more bonuses
than an irregular player.
• Given
that
a
significant
proportion of the ‘heaviest’
gamblers - sometimes referred
to as ‘VIP gamblers’ - may be
problem gamblers, it raises
questions whether rewarding
people the more they spend is
the most socially responsible
strategy.
13/02/14

36
• In relation to the use of
promotional bonuses, two basic
issues arise.
• The first one is whether online
gaming companies should offer
bonuses.
• They can be perceived as
ideologically incompatible with
being socially responsible.
• The second is whether some
types of bonuses are less
socially responsible than others.
13/02/14

37
• Absence of empirical evidence
• Could be argued that general bonuses, which target potential adult online
gamblers irrespective of play frequency and/or type, are acceptable within
online gaming environments that have a good social responsibility
infrastructure.

• However, bonuses that reward the biggest spenders could be argued to be
much less socially responsible.
• This model is well accepted in most commercial environments (i.e. loyalty
reward schemes)
• However, gambling is a commercial activity that can result in problems for
the heaviest gamblers.
13/02/14

38
• Applying this to promotional bonuses
would mean that some bonuses appear
generally acceptable from a social
responsibility perspective
• e.g., $10 token, 100% welcome bonuses
and some re-activation offers
• Others may be less socially responsible
and potentially exploitative (retention
and VIP offers)
• It may be the case that other socially
responsible measures implemented by an
online gaming company may help
mitigate the potential exploitation of
problem gamblers (e.g., use of PlayScan)
13/02/14

39
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
(Planzer & Wardle, 2012)

• Investigate exposure to advertising (quantity)
• Investigate the content of advertising (quality)
• Investigate the impact of gambling advertising
population groups (problem gamblers, adolescents)

on

different

• Investigate the role of counter advertising
• Inform gambling-related research with the results from related
fields (e.g., alcohol, tobacco)
• Co-operation between researchers and
between legal and empirical disciplines
13/02/14

regulators/co-operation
40
CONCLUSIONS
It is perfectly acceptable for
gambling
companies
to
market and advertise its
products
However, such promotion
should be done in a socially
responsible way
In the long run, social
responsibility is good for
repeat business and long-term
profits

13/02/14

41
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!

13/02/14

42

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Dr. Mark Griffiths: Social Responsibility in Gambling, Marketing and Advertising

  • 1. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GAMBLING, MARKETING AND ADVERTISING Dr Mark Griffiths Professor of Gambling Studies International Gaming Research Unit Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University United Kingdom mark.griffiths@ntu.ac.uk
  • 2. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GAMBLING • Underlying objective of a socially responsible code of conduct should be to maximise opportunity and minimise harm • Operators need to develop a culture that is supported by socially responsible policies and procedures • Social responsibility is fundamental to the long-term development of the gaming industry 13/02/14 2
  • 3. • Most operators are now developing a culture that is supported by socially responsible policies and procedures • As Ray Bates has said, social responsible practices in gambling are “a necessity not a luxury” • Some gaming companies claim that social responsibility has underpinned their gaming practices for 60 years even when it wasn’t called that. 13/02/14 3
  • 6. Understand the risk of gambling Set a time limit for gambling 13/02/14 Gambling outcomes are not predictable Don't gamble when you are drunk Gamblers lose in the long run Don't borrow to finance gambling Set a budget for gambling Seek proactive help 6
  • 7. WHERE DOES RESPONSIBILITY LIE? Individual Characteristics Structural Characteristics Gambling Behaviour Situational Characteristics 13/02/14 7
  • 8. MAIN AREAS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY • No misleading/irresponsible targeted advertising/promotion • Actively complying with relevant codes of conduct all • Giving players as much information to make informed choices • Having fair and well designed games to protect players • Having product advice that doesn’t encourage excessive play 13/02/14 8
  • 9. • Denying vulnerable minors) • Displaying information access to groups (e.g., of helpful • Providing sources of help for gambling problems • Ongoing staff training on all aspects of social responsibility • Having active support for social impact initiatives • Having a core commitment to social responsibility 13/02/14 9
  • 10. PERCEIVED CONCERNS AND ISSUES • Great deal of speculation over the role of marketing and advertising as a possible stimulus to increased gambling, and as a contributor to problem gambling • Various lobby groups claim advertising has played a role in the widespread cultural acceptance of gambling 13/02/14 10
  • 11. • These groups claim advertising tends to use glamorous images and beautiful people to sell gambling • Does advertising create unrealistic hopes of winning that may later trigger a gambling addiction? 13/02/14 11
  • 12. LOTTERY ADVERTISING: SOME EXAMPLES • 'Winning is easy' • 'It might as well be you' • 'Win a truckload of cash' • 'Play by your rules' • 'Spend for the rest of your life' • 'Win a million, the fewer numbers you choose, the easier it is to win' • 'It's easy to win' • '$600,000 giveaway simply by inserting card into the machine' • 'Wins are multiplying like bunnies’ 13/02/14 12
  • 13. • US states routinely promote their lotteries with get-rich-quick slogans that sometimes denigrate the values of hard work, initiative, responsibility, perseverance, optimism, investing for the future, and even education. • "All you need is a dollar and a dream" (New York) • "Work is nothing but heart attack-inducing drudgery" (Massachusetts) • "How to get from Washington Boulevard to Easy Street" (Illinois) • "His [Martin Luther King's] vision lives on. Honor the dream” (D.C. Lottery) 13/02/14 13
  • 14. THE INDUSTRY’S RESPONSE • “We are selling fantasies and dreams” • “Everyone excessive’ knows the claims are • “Big claims are made to catch people's attention” • “People don't really advertisements” believe • “Business advertising necessarily emphasise aspects of products” 13/02/14 these does not 'negative' 14
  • 15. ACADEMIC VIEWS ON GAMBLING ADVERTISING • Content analyses of gambling adverts have reported that gambling is portrayed as a normal, enjoyable form of entertainment involving fun and excitement (Monoghan et al, 2008; McMullan & Miller, 2008) • Large number of gambling adverts are misleading (Monoghan et al, 2008) • Furthermore, they are often centred on friends and social events (Korn, Hurson & Reynolds, 2004). 13/02/14 15
  • 16. • Media gambling exposure leads to positive attitudes towards gambling and the effects of media gambling exposure were stronger than the effects of counter advertising media exposure (Lee et al, 2008) • ‘Positive portraying’ of gambling is not per se harmful as long as consumers also perceive sufficient and accurate information on gambling-related risks (Planzer & Wardle, 2012) 13/02/14 16
  • 17. • A science-informed regulatory approach uses empirical data to examine the relationship between gambling advertising and disordered gambling (Planzer & Wardle, 2012). • However, demonstrating the negative effects of gambling are solely attributable to advertising is hard to demonstrate empirically • “There is no more difficult, complex, or controversial problem in marketing than measuring the influence of sales” (Bass, 1969) • “If demonstrating a link between advertising and sale is complex, demonstrating a link advertising and broader gambling behaviour is even more so” (Planzer & Wardle, 2012). • Advertising effects are not uniform and ‘maturity’ and ‘immaturity’ of the market will have an impact (e.g., adaptation) 13/02/14 17
  • 18. • The likelihood of large financial gain is often central theme (“It could be you”) with gambling also viewed as a way to escape day-to-day pressures. • A number of authors claim that gambling advertising plays an important role in “normalizing” gambling, increasing participation and contributing to problem development (Adams, 2004). • Dyall (2004) also claims that gambling advertising targets high-risk populations (e.g., ethnic minorities). 13/02/14 18
  • 19. • Research has found that there is a large public awareness of gambling advertising • Problem gamblers often mention advertising as a trigger to gambling (e.g., Amey, 2001; Grant & Kim, 2001; Abbott, 2001; Binde, 2009). • Similar findings have also been found among adolescent gamblers – one-third of disordered gamblers often or sometimes gambled after viewing a gambling ad (Derevensky et al, 2010) 13/02/14 19
  • 20. • Reviews (Griffiths, 2005; Planzer & Wardle, 2012) noted that almost all of the data on gambling advertising concerned attitudes in some way. • Very little of these data provide insight into the relationship between advertising and problem gambling. • Advertising is an environmental factor that has the power to shape attitudes and behaviours relating to gambling – but the strength is unclear (Planzer & Wardle, 2012) 13/02/14 20
  • 21. ADVERTISING CODE ADHERENCE • Do not promote individuals gambling to vulnerable • Do not appeal to under-18s, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture • Do not exploit cultural beliefs or traditions about gambling or luck • Do not condone or feature gambling in a working environment • Do not exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of under-18s or other vulnerable individuals 13/02/14 21
  • 22. • Promote gambling in adult environments and media at appropriate times • Avoid promoting gambling in non-gambling areas • Focus on entertainment rather than gaming • Don’t feature anyone who is (or seems) under 25 years gambling or playing a significant role. • Avoid sending out promotional materials to self-excluders • Comply with all codes of conduct (Advertising Standards Authorities, Trade organization such as WLA) 13/02/14 22
  • 30. EXAMPLE OF BEST PRACTICE (Loto-Quebec) • Disallows any advertising that is overly aggressive • Rejects concepts liable to incite the interest of children • Prohibits the use of spokespeople who are popular among youth • Prohibits placement of advertisements within media programs viewed mainly by minors • Highlights the odds of winning 13/02/14 30
  • 31. • TV commercials for new products devote 20% of their airtime to promoting gambling helpline and warnings about problem gambling. • Prohibits targeting of any particular group or community for product promotion • The Chinese community did not agree with making references to its customs in order to promote the game. • Out of respect for this community, the game was immediately suspended. 13/02/14 31
  • 32. BONUSES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY • Many promotions include welcome bonuses, initial deposit bonuses, retention bonuses, reactivation of account bonuses and VIP bonuses. • The issue here is to what extent the use of promotional ‘hooks’ to generate new custom or maintain repeat patronage can be regarded as a socially responsible strategy. 13/02/14 32
  • 33. • In gambling, there is a fine line between customer enhancement and customer exploitation, particularly when it comes to facilitating new clientele and repeat patronage. • The perception of what others think about a particular practice are sometimes given more weight than what it actually means in 13/02/14 practice. 33
  • 34. • Some academic writings on the use of bonus promotions in offline gambling environments but these are based on observational anecdotes rather than empirical research. • Bonuses are used to entice the consumer in several retail environments. • What makes them especially appealing in a gambling environment are the obvious similarities of the structural characteristics of such bonuses and gambling events in general risk, uncertainty, interval- ratio reinforcement etc. • Furthermore, the appeal is strengthened since gamblers feel they are ‘getting something for nothing’. 13/02/14 34
  • 35. GENERAL VS PROPORTIONAL BONUSES (Griffiths & Parke, 2003; Griffiths, 2010) • There is a distinction between two fundamentally different forms of bonuses – the ‘general bonus’ and the ‘proportional bonus’. • These different types of bonuses may have different implications in terms of social responsibility. • General bonuses are those offers that are provided irrespective of the type of player - for example, an occasional gambler is as equally entitled to the bonus as a ‘heavy’ gambler. • Proportional bonuses are those offers that depend on how long and/or frequently the player gambles with a particular gaming establishment. 13/02/14 35
  • 36. • This means that ‘heavy’ gamblers would receive disproportionately more bonuses than an irregular player. • Given that a significant proportion of the ‘heaviest’ gamblers - sometimes referred to as ‘VIP gamblers’ - may be problem gamblers, it raises questions whether rewarding people the more they spend is the most socially responsible strategy. 13/02/14 36
  • 37. • In relation to the use of promotional bonuses, two basic issues arise. • The first one is whether online gaming companies should offer bonuses. • They can be perceived as ideologically incompatible with being socially responsible. • The second is whether some types of bonuses are less socially responsible than others. 13/02/14 37
  • 38. • Absence of empirical evidence • Could be argued that general bonuses, which target potential adult online gamblers irrespective of play frequency and/or type, are acceptable within online gaming environments that have a good social responsibility infrastructure. • However, bonuses that reward the biggest spenders could be argued to be much less socially responsible. • This model is well accepted in most commercial environments (i.e. loyalty reward schemes) • However, gambling is a commercial activity that can result in problems for the heaviest gamblers. 13/02/14 38
  • 39. • Applying this to promotional bonuses would mean that some bonuses appear generally acceptable from a social responsibility perspective • e.g., $10 token, 100% welcome bonuses and some re-activation offers • Others may be less socially responsible and potentially exploitative (retention and VIP offers) • It may be the case that other socially responsible measures implemented by an online gaming company may help mitigate the potential exploitation of problem gamblers (e.g., use of PlayScan) 13/02/14 39
  • 40. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH (Planzer & Wardle, 2012) • Investigate exposure to advertising (quantity) • Investigate the content of advertising (quality) • Investigate the impact of gambling advertising population groups (problem gamblers, adolescents) on different • Investigate the role of counter advertising • Inform gambling-related research with the results from related fields (e.g., alcohol, tobacco) • Co-operation between researchers and between legal and empirical disciplines 13/02/14 regulators/co-operation 40
  • 41. CONCLUSIONS It is perfectly acceptable for gambling companies to market and advertise its products However, such promotion should be done in a socially responsible way In the long run, social responsibility is good for repeat business and long-term profits 13/02/14 41
  • 42. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING! 13/02/14 42