Actions and Detail Panel
Business Ethics Speaker Series: Andrea Benoit
Thu, 30 March 2017, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT
"Ethical Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility and the case of M.A.C Cosmetics."
M.A.C Cosmetics is undoubtedly one of the Canadian business success stories, a completely innovative brand that transformed the global cosmetics industry. In the 1990s, the Toronto-based company was also the first cosmetics brand to have a proud and public association with HIV/AIDS through its VIVA GLAM lipstick campaign, which raises funds for local AIDS organizations. M.A.C’s VIVA GLAM campaign and its controversial first ad featuring drag performer RuPaul ostensibly display many of the characteristics of cause marketing, which is usually a promotional activity. This talk will demonstrate how the VIVA GLAM campaign resulted instead from a historical evolution of creative and ethical practices, rather than being driven by sales, marketing, or profit, to fashion a profoundly original type of corporate philanthropy that continues more than 30 years later.
Andrea Benoit has a PhD in Media Studies from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, and her research and teaching are in the areas of advertising, branding, the interconnection of promotional culture with social causes, and media representations of gender.
She is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty’s Media, Information and Technoculture program, and has also taught in these areas in the Department of Sociology at King’s University College at Western University and in McMaster University’s Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia. Andrea currently has a book in progress for the University of Toronto Press about the Canadian brand, M.A.C Cosmetics, and the origins of its corporate philanthropy around HIV/AIDS. Since 2010, Andrea has sat on the Board of Directors for Media Action Média, a Canadian non-profit organization that promotes gender equity through media analysis and action. Andrea can be reached at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.