FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2007
Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) 202-224-4744
As retailers increasingly promise to make donations upon purchase, legislation would make sure the money goes where it is promised
WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced legislation to make sure that retailers’ charitable donation promises are kept.
Shoppers this holiday season have seen plenty of promotions from retailers promising to make a donation to a particular charity upon purchase. However, this so-called “embedded giving” lacks transparency – in fact, some charities contacted recently by reporters were not even aware that they had been listed as recipients by retailers.
Menendez’s Protecting the Spirit of Giving Act would do the following:
· Require retailers to notify a charity if they intend to use the charity’s name or logo to sell or market a product or donate proceeds from a product;
· Ensure that charities consent to their name or logo being used to market a product;
· Provide consumers with additional information about how their money will benefit a designated charity, including the portion of the item’s price that will be passed on to the charity and if there is any maximum amount that a retailer will be providing a charity
“In this season of giving, so many consumers want to be charitable, are enthusiastic about retailers promising to donate and expect those donations to be made,” said Senator Menendez. “The retailers who fulfill their promises are to be commended – they are doing a noble deed. But all retailers have to know that charity should never be used solely as a sales pitch. When consumers open their wallets, they should have the comfort of knowing that their good intentions will be protected and that their donations will benefit the intended cause. Shining more sunlight on this practice will help us confirm that retailers are giving what they promise, and that’s the purpose of this bill.”
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is an original co-sponsor of the bill. Embedded giving was a topic discussed last week at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Financial Literacy for the Holiday Season.
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Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
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