A Dec. 15 Bloomberg Markets Magazine report revealed that some cotton fiber suppliers for Victoria’s Secret in Burkina Faso rely on child labor. A spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret parent company Limited Brands Inc. told Bloomberg Markets that the company’s standards “specifically prohibit child labor…We are vigorously engaging with stakeholders to fully investigate this matter.”
Do you hear that sound? It’s the slowing swoosh of revolving doors at Victoria’s Secret stores. A lot of Victoria’s Secret gift buyers this holiday season will be going to plan B, starting Dec. 16.
We’ve heard about the death of true investigative journalism, as newspapers stumble toward seeming oblivion. The unexplained resignation of New York Times CEO Janet Robinson today will serve to only darken this gloomy picture. Yet even in this environment, journalists still find ways to embarrass companies and powerful politicians.
Large brands with a lot to lose should not be lulled into complacency and assume the news media has been entirely reduced to a henhouse of well-paid, squawking pundits with talking points and post-collegiate aggregators. There will always be smart, tough journalists looking to give the high and mighty the hotfoot treatment.
Content marketing experts often say that all organizations are publishers now. If that’s truly the case, big brands should develop some in-house investigative journalists to look closely at their own supply chains. Better to discover your own dirty laundry than to have it aired by outsiders.