Duncan Smith joins CIM for House of Commons debate

Duncan Smith joins CIM for House of Commons debate

iCompli founder and CIM Course Director Duncan Smith joins a hand-picked panel of marketing experts at the House of Commons to debate the motion that "Marketers have the prime responsibility for protecting consumer rights".

The CIM, key sponsors of the industry leading Debating Group, proposed a motion that was guaranteed to provoke some empassioned and in-depth argument.

Presided over by Liberal Democrat Peer Lord McNally, the motion FOR was put forward by Food Standards Agency Deputy Chair Julia Unwin and iCompli founder Duncan Smith. The motion was opposed by Jim Murray Director of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), and Renzo Marchini of Dechert’s law firm.

Despite well-voiced opinion from ‘the floor’ that marketers must act more responsibly and recognise that their actions can have affect far beyond the boundaries of the organisations they work for, <strong>the motion for was resoundingly defeated.

A surprising result, to an extent, yes. There was a palpable sense of ‘short-termism’ from the floor</strong>, fuelling the arguments that marketers should have more regard to corporate profitability than to the protection of consumer rights. This view only has merit so long as the consumer continues their (profitable) relationship with the supplier. Once consumer rights have, or have perceived to have been breached, then the relationship is likely to break down; a particular concern in commoditised markets with low switching inertia.

Wherever the marketer can influence the consumer into a perception (real or otherwise) that their basic rights are being protected, then surely the evolving trust must greatly influence the profitability AND sustainability of the relationship