Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | March 2, 2006

Visa, proud ‘sponsor’ of …?

A major global sporting event such as the recent Winter olympics is a major opportunity for world-leading brands to gain additional profile. One of the major sponsors is Visa, the international financial services company.

One page of their website describes their mission as “to assist worldwide organisations that support the values of Visa“. Their long-term support of wordwide competitions such as the Olympics and Paralympics is certainly in line with their brand statement:

The definition of a brand is the sum total of the consumer experience that goes along with it: everything a company says, everything it does, and how it says and does it. What is the value of the Visa brand—to Members, partners, and consumers?

If this is the case why are Visa one of the biggest facilitators of pornography on the internet? Their payment facilities allow it to be bought and sold worldwide.

I understand that much of this ‘adult entertainment’ is not outside the law therefore Visa are not committing a crime. However, selecting and taking customers is a choice and therefore the question remains, why do they choose to support such a reprehensible business?

If they are serious about their values, just think what a postive impact would be made if Visa and the other major credit card companies withdrew their facilities from the sex and pornography business.

I hope the world’s major banking firms start making moral choices about who they support and facilitate. Their social responsibility policy could make a substantial difference to society.

In the meantime, I wonder how much they are profiting from this part of their business……

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