They worked with ordinary members of the Co-op to put a motion to the Co-op’s 2018 AGM asking for the Board to develop an ethical advertising policy by this year’s AGM.
The campaigners were delighted when the motion was supported by 96% of voting members.
They were therefore disappointed when, in the Report to the 2019 AGM, the Co-op appeared to fail “to respect the instruction given to them by Co-op members”. This led them to ask members for support in writing to the Co-op to criticise its response and ramp up the pressure for change.
Colin Baines, one the campaign’s directors, also attended the 2019 AGM to ask publicly why the Board and not reported back as asked. He told Ethical Consumer that “I was pleased to hear Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, acknowledge the validity of some of my criticism, state his appetite for continued engagement with Stop Funding Hate, and that he was open to joining the Conscious Advertising Network.”
The Conscious Advertising Network is an important part of the new direction for the campaign and, according to Richard Wilson a founder of Stop Funding Hate, an opportunity for the Co-op to show that it is “staying true to its tradition as a leader in ethical business”