Co-operative asks public to 'shape its future' post-scandal

Co-Operative: asks public to help shape its future
Co-Operative: asks public to help shape its future

The Co-operative Group is asking consumers to help shape its strategy, including whether or not it should make political donations, how it should reward shareholders, and how it can help local communities, a move it is backing with a marketing push.

The 150-year-old organisation is on a mission to restore confidence in its business, after being hit hard last year by a banking scandal, when a £1.5bn shortfall caused a political storm and highlighted former chairman Paul Flowers’ mismanagement of the business and unconventional lifestyle, including alleged drug-taking.

Announcing the survey today, group chief executive Euan Sutherland admitted the group had "lost touch" and said the findings of the survey would shape its "strategy and purpose".

The survey, which comes a month after the group's banking arm ran an ad thanking its customers after another round of allegations emerged about Flowers, invites the public, including customers and members, to "Have your say".

The poll is being run in conjunction with YouGov and will form part of the group’s wider strategic review, the results of which will be released in May.

The themes addressed in the survey include what the Co-operative means now and what it should stand for in the future; how it can help communities address the most important issues they face; how it should share its profits; whether it should make political donations; and how it can improve its goods and services.

Sutherland said: "In recent years, The Co-operative has lost touch with its customers and members and with the communities in which it operates - we haven't been listening. As a new management team we are focused on renewing The Co-operative and the UK public will be vital to that process.

"If we are to successfully serve the communities in which we operate, to become as relevant today as we were in the past, we need to hear directly from the communities and the people we serve. We have seen incredible loyalty from our customers, colleagues and members in recent months - now we want to reward that loyalty."

Last year, the group’s banking business was under intense political and public scrutiny when a £1.5bn shortfall was revealed. It was bailed out by bondholders led by US hedge funds, which now own 70% of the bank.

In November, the bank ran a press ad campaign to reassure consumers of its ethical banking credentials. The copy read: "Ethical banking has always been in our DNA. Now it’s in our constitution."


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers