The study aimed to analyze the perspectives of American consumers about the role of business in the global response to AIDS. The sampling of 800 top consumers across the nation with household incomes larger than $50,000 found that 96 percent of consumers felt that AIDS was a "serious" issue, and 67 percent said that they would pay more for a brand "if I knew that the extra money was going specifically to a program to fight AIDS."
"This research should be a wake-up call to companies. American consumers expect them to be actively involved in the fight against AIDS and yet most companies are not doing anything to address this deadly disease in their workforce or in the communities where they operate, " said Trevor Neilson, Executive Director of the GBC. "Companies who have outsourced work to India and China should be particularly concerned because their employees in those countries are at a high risk of infection."
According to UNAIDS, India now has more than 5 million AIDS cases, the highest number of any country in the world and China is poised to reach similar levels unless dramatic interventions occur.
By a wide margin consumers also said that it was more important for companies to be involved in AIDS than be involved in support for arts programs and they believe that it is more important for companies to be involved in AIDS programs than in United Way campaigns.
"American consumers seem to understand what corporate leaders have been slow to comprehend," Neilson contends. "AIDS has killed 30 million people and as leaders in society companies have a responsibility to not sit and watch,"
The poll also showed that 76 percent of consumers believe that companies have a responsibility to improve the community and not just be economically successful.
About the U.S. Consumer Survey on AIDS
GBC's U.S. Consumer Survey on AIDS is the first study of its kind. It is part of the broader GBC research agenda that looks at issues relating to business and AIDS. The study was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a survey research company, specializing in corporate and public policy research. Consumers for the survey were selected randomly and screened to include an equal representation of female and male consumers with household incomes larger than $50,000. A total of 800 adult consumers across the United States were interviewed on November 3, 4 and 7, 2004. The sampling margin of error for the survey is +/-3.46 percent.
About the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC)
The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) is the pre-eminent organization leading the business fight against HIV/AIDS. With offices in New York, Paris and Johannesburg the rapidly-expanding alliance of over 170 international companies is dedicated to combating the AIDS epidemic through the business sector's unique skills and expertise. The mission of the GBC is to harness the power of the global business community to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
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