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Corporate ‘conscience’ lauded in UN awards


MAY 31 – JUNE 14, 1995

Corporate ‘conscience’ lauded in UN awards

Support for women’s issues, education

By Ashali Varma

United Nation New York: Body Shop Canada received the 1994 United Nations Grand Award for its outstanding achievements in a public service campaign to stop violence against women.  At a luncheon held at the UN on May 17, Samir S. Sanbar, assistant secretary general of the Department of Public Relations (DPI), said that the awards, which are given every year by DPI and the International Public Relations Association, “recognize excellence in public relations campaigns that are priority issues at the UN, issues such as human rights, sustainable development, women and children’s right, education, health and conservation.”

The Canadian campaign entitled “In the Name of Love STOP Violence Against Women,” sponsored by Body Shop highlighted the seriousness of this issue for the first time and raised public awareness by outlining the hard facts: 51 percent of women in Canada have been physically or sexually assaulted after the age of 16; in each of the past two years more than 100 women in Canada have been killed by their male partners and 45  percent of all women surveyed experienced violence at the hands of men known.

The objectives of the campaign were to raise funds for organizations working to prevent violence and to counsel victims and to help empower and educate women on their rights. To involve local communities, Body Shop held events in 36 cities and collected more than $100,000 for violence prevention programs.

Two other campaigns selected for honorable mention at the award luncheon were Turkey’s

Rama  Cansuyu (the Lifeblood Project), an environmental success story which was sponsored by the Turkish Unilever-Rama Group and Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “DARE to make a  Difference Contest,” a drug abuse resistance initiative for students.

The Turkish campaign was, initiated to save the Izmir bird sanctuary, an 18 mile area where hundreds of species of birds have lived and bred for centuries. But lack of rainfall threatened to dry up most of the fresh water beds.

The Unilever-Rama Group (a Leading manufacturer of food products) and Green Active Productions organized a series of events to enlist the support of the Government and NGOs. Unilever-Rama also funded the construction of waterways to bring fresh water to the region to restore the natural ecological balance of the area, which now hosts more than 191 species of birds.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken contest challenged fifth and sixth grade students to create the  best television and radio public service announcements explaining why the DARE program was important in their lives. Over 50,000 students entered and total audience figures for  television and radio airing of the announcements exceeded 1.2 billion.