BSR Tries to Distance Itself from the Foxconn Scandal

Mr. Cramer

The nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility, or BSR, is attempting to save face following a damning report in Wednesday’s New York Times condemning working conditions in Chinese Apple factories.

The article, which practically blew up the Internet, quotes a BSR consultant who claims BSR has repeatedly warned Apple of the dangers the factories pose to workers, but that the Cupertino company has refused to make changes. “We could have saved lives, and we asked Apple to pressure Foxconn, but they wouldn’t do it,” the consultant told the Times.

Now, BSR is striking back at the Times for what they call an “inaccurate” report with their own Letter to the Editor (PDF), published to the BSR website on Friday. The letter, penned by BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer, claims the Times inaccurately represented the views of the company. “In several places, you attribute certain opinions about Apple to an unnamed “BSR consultant,” despite the fact that this consultant is unnamed, and are not affiliated with BSR,” reads the letter. “Associating these views with BSR is a serious misrepresentation, and should be changed.” Those pesky consultants—always twisting company beliefs!

Mr. Cramer is also quick to note that BSR “does not believe that Apple has consistently disregarded its advice,” which directly contradicts the Times’ BSR consultant source, who claimed, “We’ve spent years telling Apple there are serious problems and recommending changes. They don’t want to pre-empt problems, they just want to avoid embarrassments.”

BSR apparently noted their concerns in a letter prior to the article’s publication, and while some portions were changed, “several important inaccuracies and misleading information remained in the story.” BSR doesn’t bother to specify what those inaccuracies were. But it’s no surprise that the nonprofit is attempting to distance itself from the scandal. After all, who wants to hire corporate consultants with running mouths? They don’t call it a walled garden for nothing. BSR Tries to Distance Itself from the Foxconn Scandal