Dax bosses are silent on social issues

The heads of the Dax-30 companies interfere little in social debates on the environment and sustainability. Many companies assert that these topics are important to them, but all Dax CEOs seem to avoid the area in media work. This was the result of a qualitative evaluation by the Swiss analysis service Media Tenor of 30 leading German media from the press, television and radio from July 2019 to December 2020.

In the 18 months, Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess and the outgoing Siemens driver Joe Kaeser were most likely to be associated with the issues. But even Diess, according to Media Tenor, would have had to communicate ten times more on the subject areas than had happened if he had wanted to be perceived – the perception threshold was 1400 statements on a topic in the observation period.

When it comes to social issues other than climate protection, such as the health system, rents, affordable energy or the promotion of recycling, the Dax CEOs remain almost silent. If the DAX drivers interfere, this usually occurs out of controversial situations. At Volkswagen, this was the case around the diesel scandal.

The United Nations defined 17 goals for sustainable development, which in turn consist of 169 sub-goals. According to the Media Tenor, very few of them are clearly addressed by the Dax bosses in the evaluated leading media.

“Business representatives only play an alibi role in the media presence when there are reports on questions about the future of society,” says Media Tenor boss Roland Schatz. Many corporate executives would proceed according to the motto, “Every day that I am not in the newspaper is a good day,” says Schatz. “A little later they complain verbatim to their peers that economically relevant aspects are getting lost in politics, in the church or in schools.”

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