Instead of being reactionary and defensive the website should act as an informative and educational tool, showing customers how the fashion retail industry works.
There are two videos on the website, including an interview with Primark director Breege O’Donoghue, and numerous PDFs to download. This should be reversed. Video is a great way to get the message across in easy to digest bursts – who wants to download an ethical policy PDF?
These videos should also be added to YouTube and Daily Motion. The BBC has put part of the programme on YouTube. Primark should regularly and openly respond to comments from other viewers, so that a comment from them always appears on the first page.
To drive traffic to its ethical website, Primark is advertising in Google search for the term ‘ethical fashion’. This is a good strategy although I would recommend they use more positive ad copy.
Instead of ‘Our response to charges of poor conditions in supplier factories’, which is again reactionary of the expose, the advert in Google should focus on the positive efforts of the policy.
To summarise I really think it’s time for Primark to start living its ethical policy online by embracing social media. The brand should be engaging with bloggers, responding openly to forum posts, educating people on the supply chain using video and communicate through email or the website what they are doing internally to meets its ethical standards.
This activity should take place all year round, not just after a documentary.