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"Socially Responsible"

David Jones, CEO of Havas and Euro RSCG, one of the world's largest marketing firms, was the keynote at last months Mashable conference in Florida. He spoke about shifts that he sees business, and marketing making in the new world. He believes the biggest winners in the new economy (among other things) will have a socially responsible focus.
Jones thinks that the most successful businesses and leaders in the future will be those that are socially responsible. He envisions “a world where the people that do the most good make the most money,” citing programs like Pepsi Refresh and Nike Better World as examples of companies finding what he calls a “social business idea.”
Clearly for us in racing - racing animals - we will never be at the top of the list in being socially responsible. Our detractors are vocal, and there are many of them. However, doing the right thing the best we can should be a priority.

Bettors and participants often have an opinion that this does not matter very much. For example, during the whipping debate in Ontario many are on record saying that they have never heard anyone complain about whipping; horsemen groups were similarly not sold on the concept. "We will lose customers" was the general opine. But we have more to lose than customers, we have the public, which controls many of the purse strings on our sport, with subsidy money and slot cash. They are demanding we be more socially responsible, just like the speaker above talks about. We might not think it's important, but in today's world it is.


Anonymous said…
Hey PTP,

As you know, I take in ex-race horses, and at the same time, I love the sport of harness racing, but the thing that really grinds my gears is that with some owners and trainers, there's a sensitivity chip missing when it comes to their horses. Use them up quick and throw them out. It seems to be a disposable industry. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of owners and trainers now doing the right thing with their ex-racers, but I fail to see how these other irresponsible people will ever make it big if they don't take the time to nuture, what inadvertently, is their means of income? Don't we all want to have a horse good enough to race in the big time? You wouldn't believe how many Friday nights I've sat around the table, having a few beers, listening to some of these trainers snot and ball because their horse is running like a bag of crap. Well, you know what? Then do something productive with them instead of leaving them in their stalls for 23 hours a day at the racetrack! We need to, at all costs, try to be a bit more socially responsible.

Highgunner said…
"Clearly for us in racing - racing animals - we will never be at the top of the list in being socially responsible."

There is a notable shift, in the younger generation of advocates, from screaming to fixing. In fact, these new advocates are not happy about the older generations tactics. Our organization is working on enlisting these younger advocates in making changes in our industry. They are solution orientated. They view what we are doing as socially responsible because they know they are not going to eliminate horse racing, but they want to see the industry place a greater priority on horse welfare, not winning a race.

@Highgunner - The voice for the "Unwanted Thoroughbred"

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