Research Notes and Commentaries
Doing well by doing good—case study: ‘Fair & Lovely’ whitening cream
Article first published online: 22 AUG 2007
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Strategic Management Journal
Volume 28, Issue 13, pages 1351–1357, December 2007
How to Cite
Karnani, A. (2007), Doing well by doing good—case study: ‘Fair & Lovely’ whitening cream. Strat. Mgmt. J., 28: 1351–1357. doi: 10.1002/smj.645
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 22 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JUL 2007
- Manuscript Received: 18 JAN 2007
- corporate social responsibility;
- bottom of the pyramid
According to the ‘doing well by doing good’ proposition, firms have a corporate social responsibility to achieve some larger social goals, and can do so without a financial sacrifice. This research note empirically examines this proposition by studying in depth the case of ‘Fair & Lovely,’ a skin whitening cream marketed by Unilever in many countries in Asia and Africa, and, in particular, India. Fair & Lovely is indeed doing well; it is a profitable and fast-growing brand. It is, however, not doing good, and I demonstrate its negative implications for public welfare. I conclude with thoughts on how to reconcile this divergence between private profits and public welfare. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.