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Aitken sees appointment as a chance to help

Wednesday 11 September 2019 9:54pm

Rob-Aitken-image
Associate Professor Rob Aitken, who is one of two new appointments to the Board of Consumer NZ.

The University of Otago’s Associate Professor Rob Aitken has been appointed to the Board of Consumer NZ.

Associate Professor Aitken is the head of the Department of Marketing at the Otago Business School and says his appointment to the board is a great privilege.

“It’s also a real opportunity to help make sure that ordinary people get the best consumption advice from companies determined to provide the best value in the most socially and environmentally way possible.”

His current research, which focuses on consumer behaviour and consumption, especially in relation to vulnerable consumers, such as older people and children, and in branding and marketing ethics, will be complementary to his new role, he says.

"[I hope] to protect and enhance the rights of consumers and to encourage more ethical marketing behaviour in business."

“[I hope] to protect and enhance the rights of consumers and to encourage more ethical marketing behaviour in business. Also, to expand the range of help, advice and support we give to consumers, especially in relation to making sustainable consumption choices and to offer further services that help consumers to make informed decisions to help consumers know which is the best service provider for them and to know which businesses they can rely on to honour their commitment to social responsibility.”

A key concern for Associate Professor Aitken is to help Consumer NZ explore a wider and sustainable range of financial options to support its work as a non-profit and non-centrally funded organisation.

“Consumer NZ is heavily reliant on membership and subscriptions, so we need to reach segments of society who no longer subscribe to magazines such as ConsumerNZ, but who still look for objective and reliable product and service advice and recommendations,” he says.

Associate Professor Aitken is one of two new appointments this year to the seven-strong member board, the other being Elizabeth Tennet, of Nelson. The pair are the only South Island-based members.