The best way of getting people to respect your brand is to have a respectable brand." Leroy Stick
It's time to behave. And not just because Santa's watching. The whole world is. The last few years have exemplified just how much the digital revolution has turned the tables on big brands.
Social media has put more power than ever in the consumer's hands. Where once these brands were seen as unaccountable, even untouchable - now the smallest misdemeanour could be trending on Twitter before the CEO has time to clear his desk out.
Bob Diamond resigned from Barclays this July following uproar over the bank's manipulation of Libor interest rates by traders. And again this week, the power of the consumer was demonstrated by Starbucks.
We're in an era of transparency. Younger generations are more aware of who they spend their money on. And if you're not behaving, it might come back to bite you.
Brands that do good, do well. Patagonia are a great example of successfully appealing to a socially responsible generation by placing purpose before propositions. And this isn't at the expense of profit either. Far from it.
Maybe Fleet Street could benefit from following these principles. The controversy of the Leveson Report comes amid tumbling circulations, declining advertising revenues and a complete lack of faith from the public in the industry's practices.
While newspaper boardrooms continue to um-and-ah over the pro's and con's of paywalls and digital/print bundles, maybe they should be looking at the bigger picture:
How can we be more transparent? How do we engage with our readers on a deeper and more authentic level? How are we contributing to society? What difference do we make in peoples' lives?
It's these kind of questions that hold the key to saving such a troubled industry.