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It’s tempting, when business conditions are tough, to cut back on the things you consider luxuries. How many CEOs have pared their company’s marketing budget (but not their personal expense accounts), as if marketing is an unnecessary cost, rather than a generator of revenue.

Corporate social investment falls into the same category. Lop off a programme or two, and maybe you can reinstate them a couple of years down the line when business is looking better...

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