Friday, October 10, 2008

Corporate Social Responsibility not being a strong point of the pub trade it's heartening, refreshing even, and Maurice Pratt must be congratulated for setting this fine example of a chief exec taking responsibility for the performance of his company on the chin.

In Mr Pratt's case it wouldn't be difficult to argue that Magners' performance against expectations has been a result of being squeezed out of pubs by Bulmers and the impact of two dreadfully wet summers.

IN the case of PubCos beginning to implode there are no such arguments to defend the CEO's positions. Their policies have made their companies precariously weak by driving measures through that have totally undermined their foundations. There is no security in these companies any more, only exposure to risk. Fat chance of seeing the big wigs on this side of the fence take responsibility for their failing business model - NO - according to them, all responsibility lies at the hands of others:

1) the government; for duty increases; for the smoking ban; for setting business rates too high.

2) the tax payer for changing their demographic and not going out as often as they used to

3) the nasty big supermarkets passing on discounts to their customers which makes pubs look really expensive by comparison

4) God; for bad weather

And, finally, when all those stop washing credibility:

5) the lessee; for not being able to make silk purses out of a PubCos' pigs' ear.

The CEOs will NOT therefore, take responsibility.

Why should they? They're simple folk who like a pint; believe in the great tradition of the British pub; who support diversity and who's only ambition is to support their tenants (unfortunately some of them can't run a business) on a case by case basis to drive business forward and increase rent and wholesale prices across the board.

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