Saturday, 9 February 2013

Charity, but not before profit.

Adverts are starting to get to me recently.
Some because of their blatant assumption that the viewing public are mostly made up of morons, others because they don't make sence or that they were obviously devised by the same group that did "that other advert".  But this post relates to "charity packs".

"Buy special packs of <blah>  and we'll donate £y.yy" 

The current perpetrator at the point of writing this is the pampers advert telling us about how bad conditions are in developing countries and using our (your) newborns as empathy builders to encourage the relevant sale. 

"Buy a marked pack and we'll donate the cost of 1 tetanus vaccination".

"Ooh, how very humanitarian of them, take my money" is their required response, but let's take a moment analyse this:

  • Firstly, they decline to make an outright commitment of a real monetary value. 
  • Next is that this is "donate on purchase", if they don't sell (for what ever reason) they don't donate that vaccine. 
  • Lastly (and this is the real kicker for me) the more astute viewers may notice the brief message at the bottom of the screen stating that 1 vaccination equates to £0.04 
4p from the cover price, ranging from £6 - £14; let us assume (as I do not know which specific product it relates to, though I do not believe it to be the cheap end of the scale) the pack is in the region of £11.
Compare that to this article that claims in 2011, sales made $10 billion (est. £6-7 billion), resulting in $1.2 billion (est £75 million) profit for the pampers product line:

We can therefore assume that profit per pack could be on average in the region of £1 (very estimated, I more than welcome an accurate figure).
Given all that, they could donate in the region of 25 vaccines per pack, but they chose to only donate 1 (if the pack sells). Let's not forget that wages etc have all been accounted for - this is pure profit margin now.

In my opinion, if people reading this truly care about the suffering in developing countries, every other purchase you make in a promotion like this, donate the value of 1 pack directly to the charity involved as your money will have far more effect.