Consumers Cooperate

The Christian Science Monitor, February 15, 1963

Updated: May 15, 2013

A new wave of consumer movements gained in importance on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1960s. Mary Hornaday’s 1963 article in The Christian Science Monitor explores the intersection of the steady rise of prosperity in the postwar West with the boom of the international consumer movement. It emphasizes the importance of non-governmental consumer protection in informing and educating the consumer. Hornaday describes both what international consumer movements have in common and how they differ from each other. Discussing America as the “pioneer in the consumer education movement,” (a change from the prewar discussion that emphasized European influences on the United States in this area, see: Consumer Co-operation), the author sees other countries as rapidly catching up. She also outlines the foundation of the International Office of Consumer Unions (IOCU) in 1960 and makes a concrete distinction between three different types of consumer movements: those that are entirely non-governmental, those that are governmentally subsidized, and those that are project-oriented and evolve from existing organizations. 

“As an outgrowth of rising living standards around the world and as a by-product of the European Common Market, the international consumer movement is booming. […] In a world of complex products and advertising slogans, the modern consumer movement has sprung up with offers to provide third-party technical testing with popular dissemination of results in a manner that will steer consumers to products the testers feel best suited to their needs and the best buy for their money. […] Though the United States was the pioneer in the consumer education movement, consumer testing is moving ahead in other technological countries at an even more rapid pace than in this country at present.”

Article available through ProQuest (subscription required)

Hornaday, Mary. “Consumers Cooperate.” The Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 15, 1963, p. 3.

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"Consumers Cooperate," Transatlantic Perspectives, 2017, Transatlantic Perspectives. 26 Mar 2017 <http://transatlanticperspectives.org/entry.php?rec=143>

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"Consumers Cooperate." (2017) In Transatlantic Perspectives, Retrieved March 26, 2017, from Transatlantic Perspectives: http://transatlanticperspectives.org/entry.php?rec=143