Survey reveals lack of complete transparency in advertising


Two-thirds of Dubai firms are failing to incorporate full transparency in to their advertising campaigns as part of their range of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, a new study revealed on Tuesday.


According to a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey measuring businessmen’s take on CSR, only 35 per cent of respondents said they are committed to ensuring transparency in advertising their company’s products and services.


“Although [companies] are showing commitment to improving customer satisfaction and compliance, they are not committed to ensuring transparency in their advertising in the market,” said Anis Ben Brik, CSR researcher at Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business.

According to the research, the majority of companies surveyed perceive their role in society as improving their relationship with the government, in terms of compliance to regulation and contributing to public revenue.


Most executives in Dubai see their role in society as “in-house improvements” – building up their economic performance in terms of competitive advantage and enhancing their company brand, said Ben Brik. “That’s not enough to embed CSR as a business agenda. We encourage companies to look at their broad role in the society,” he said.


The survey revealed more than 60 per cent of respondents perceives their role in society to improve their relationship with employees in terms of health and safety.


More than 60 per cent of companies also said they are committed to protecting the environment, while more than 50 per cent see their role as reducing human rights abuse.


The majority of executives showed commitment to engage in environmental protection, including environmental performance measurement, exceeding government regulations, and adopting and implementing environmental systems.


However, according to the results, very few companies believe they have a role in improving community development. Only 19 per cent of Dubai executives are committed to supporting community organisations and less than 30 per cent are committed to supporting employee volunteering.


“Executives in Dubai consider CSR a fundamental part of their business agenda but they need to get more active,” he said.


According to the survey, nearly 60 per cent of Dubai residents say it is important for consumers to buy products and services from a socially responsible company.