In addition to human trafficking, CBIS participants have named pornography as a top social concern that they would like to see addressed through SRI initiatives. There are only a small number of publicly-traded companies whose main business is pornography production, and these are restricted from CBIS portfolios through Principled Purchasing. Most pornography producers are small, privately owned businesses, which precludes any form of CBIS-led shareholder action. However, there are actions that CBIS and participants can jointly take to oppose the issue, and we turned the focus of the SRI Action Center to pornography late in 2010.
The primary publicly traded companies that are involved in pornography distribution are content providers such as cable and satellite TV companies and hotel chains that supply “adult” channels and on-demand programming to guests. These companies tend to be fairly large, and the revenue they earn from distributing pornography is a small percentage of their overall revenue. We believe there is opportunity here to use our influence as shareholders to encourage these companies to put a stop to this type of business.
In late 2010, CBIS invited participants to join a campaign against pornography by signing a letter sent to five major media companies: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DIRECTV, DISH Network, and Cablevision. The letter asked the companies to stop distributing pornographic programs and improve public disclosure of potential business risks and revenues earned from distributing pornography.
Support by CBIS participants has helped send these companies the important message that shareholders object to profiting from this type of business. We encourage you to visit the SRI Action Center at www.cbisonline.com to read the letter and stay up-to-date on the results of this important campaign.
The letter asked the companies to stop distributing pornographic programs and improve public disclosure of potential business risks and revenues earned from distributing pornography.