Unilever CEO addresses the Wincott Foundation

On 24 May 2012 Paul Polman was guest speaker at the annual press awards organised by the Wincott Foundation.

Annual press awards

These prestigious awards recognise journalists and media organisations that have produced outstanding work in the field of finance, business and economics.

Paul opened with the message that consumer confidence is at an all time low and that the events of the last few years have further undermined people’s trust – in governments, international agencies, regulators, the providers of financial services and business generally.

The economic crisis and the failure of institutions to respond, he said, has triggered profound and lasting changes in people’s attitudes and behaviour, citing the move from ‘mindless to mindful consumption’ and consumers taking action through the power of social media.

Filling the leadership vacuum

He explained that the lack of trust in governments has opened up a power and leadership vacuum that responsible business can help to fill. He went on to talk about three elements on which this move needs to be based:

  • A greater sense of responsibility and purpose 

  • A longer term view 

  • A reinstatement of trust through transparency


Date Title File size
The Harold Wincott Awards for Financial Journalism 2012