A New York Times article published earlier this month discusses Waste Management's targeted efforts to improve its public image by advertising the company's "green" initiatives. These efforts include setting aside wildlife habitat (and noting it in ads), launching a new Web site, and even hosting an interactive exhibit at Disney's Epcot Center.
The article highlights a significant shift in the company's advertising strategy, broadening the appeal from a traditional focus on "influencers" in a position to contract with the company to plying the general public:
“The Internet still reaches our target audience of influencers, but now our message is accessible to everyone,” [said Brooke B. Farrell, a vice president of Waste Management’s advertising agency]. That is important, [Waste Management CEO David P.] Steiner said, because “our goal is no longer just to educate, but to also create a preference for our company over our rivals.”
Is this public appeal likely to benefit only large waste firms like WM, or could it be an effective strategy for all waste handlers? Or is it simply a shrewd attempt to capitalize on the nation's green mood?