NEW YORK – March 19, 2019 — Two Boston University students will receive the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award for their submission analyzing Dove’s efforts to respond to a perceived discrepancy between what the brand purportedly celebrates and how it chose to promote its products. Olivia Zed and Sarah Dasher will be recognized, along with their academic advisor, Dr. Donald K. Wright, at the Page Spring Seminar on April 4-5, 2019 in New York City.

The Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications, which is sponsored by Page and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), awards students whose original case studies best contribute to the profession's body of knowledge and provide practical suggestions improving the corporate communication function. This year's competition drew 56 entries from 24 communications and business schools in Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.

The winning submission, “Dove: A Purpose-Driven Brand in A Crisis of Sincerity,” analyzes the business and brand implications of a 2017 Dove commercial, which many consumers said was racist and followed similar offenses in 2011 and 2014. The students conclude that corporate communicators must help companies and brands meet rising consumer expectations by adhering to the Page Principles, “prove it with action” and “listen to stakeholders.”

“We are pleased to honor Olivia and Sarah with the Koten Award for their thoughtful work on this case study,” Page President Roger Bolton said. “Their case study demonstrates the importance of authenticity for companies seeking to create social value through their brands. Perceived disconnects between stated purpose and actual behavior will be noticed and punished. This case will be an important resource for corporate communications practitioners worldwide.”

In addition to the overall grand prize, the competition awards winners in the categories of Communications Schools and Business Schools. This year's winners represent DePaul University, Brigham Young University, Grand Valley State University and the University of Notre Dame. To see a complete list of the winning submissions and for more information about the competition, please visit: Knowledge Base

“We received great entries from leading communications and business schools,” said Dr. Tina McCorkindale, President and CEO of IPR. “But what made the Dove case stand out was its successful exploration of how the dramatic increase in public demand for companies to create social value creates new reputational risks for organizations. Congratulations to Olivia, Sarah and their advisor, Professor Don Wright. 

The annual competition is judged by a panel comprising Page members and Page Up members. Judges for this year’s competition included:

About the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award

As the first chairman of Page, Jack Koten was among the founding members who extracted from Arthur Page's lifetime of work the set of defining values that we know today as the Page Principles. These Principles not only serve as criteria for this competition but also as a guide for Page members in their daily work. Jack personified the belief that businesses should operate honestly and honorably, and with unwavering integrity.

Upon his passing in 2014, Jack bequeathed funds to Page that its Board of Trustees voted to use to fund in perpetuity the annual Case Study Competition grand prize, which that year was renamed the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award.

About Page

Page is a global membership organization that brings together the world’s leading communications executives to strengthen the enterprise leadership role of the chief communications officer (CCO). Our purpose is rooted in the belief that a strong Communications function results in enterprises that are more responsible, trustworthy and responsive to stakeholders, which in turn helps transform business for the better. Page has nearly 800 members in 25 countries, representing a multitude of industries, leading PR agencies, influential nonprofits and NGOs, and highly respected academicians. We are dedicated to advancing the leadership capabilities of the CCO and the communications profession through thought leadership, learning programs and networking experiences to connect the brightest industry minds to create a better future. For more information, please visit

About the Institute for Public Relations 

The Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit research foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR focuses on research that matters to the profession, providing timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use. All research is available free at and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and event.


Anabella Tinoco

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