A study by Echo Research of 5,324 press articles on corporate social responsibility finds that the number of articles featuring a CSR issue increased by 52% from 2000 to 2001, and by 401% from 2001 to 2002.
The study finds the media to be fairly divided on their view as to whether companies practice CSR for genuine reasons or for show.
The study also finds that of 179 articles reporting on how companies publicise their CR programs, 127 said that companies did not effectively communicate these efforts.
Companies that were most often portrayed by media in a positive light for their CSR efforts include The Body Shop, BP, BT, The Co-operative Bank, Shell and Westpac.
ExxonMobil, Gap, Telstra and Wal-Mart received the most unfavorable coverage from media for their CR efforts.
Research Director, Nigel Middlemiss commented, ³This research indicates that there is an increased interest in the subject. However, it should be borne in mind that there was a significant surge in coverage of the topic around the WSSD in Johannesburg.