Malaysians turn to social purpose

Malaysia consumers are proving to be strong advocates when it comes to supporting social causes, Edelman's 2012 goodpurpose report shows.

Based on the report, 92% of Malaysia consumers felt it is important for a business to address social concerns.

It showed a high 93% of Malaysia consumers were personally involved in supporting good causes over the last 18 months, significantly above the global average of 60%.

But when it comes to who should be most responsible for addressing social issues, more than half of Malaysia respondents (62%) said it was up to the government. Non-government organisations ranked third with only 13% of Malaysians holding them responsible.

Raymond Siva, managing director of Edelman Malaysia, said this was a reflection that more and more consumers want to take matters into their own hands when it comes to social issues.

He said some do this by choosing brands or companies that actively participate in addressing social issues.

When asked if was okay for brands to support good causes and make money at the same time, 79% of Malaysian respondents agreed it was.

Malaysian would also opt to live in environmentally-friendly houses (86%), buy local brands over designer ones (81%), drive a hybrid car over a luxury one (84%) and get a job that allows them to give back to society (67%).

The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study is the fifth annual global consumer study that explores consumer attitudes around social purpose.

The survey consisted of online interviews in 16 countries among 8,000 adults. In Malaysia the firm interviewed 500 people.