P&G Admits to Dumpster Diving

Procter & Gamble admitted that a company working on its behalf went through the garbage of rival company Unilever in an attempt to find out more about its hair-care business. According to the Financial Times, the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals in Alexandria, Virginia, however, wrinkles its nose at the mention of rifling through a competitor's rubbish in search of corporate secrets. "It's not professional," says Bill Weber, executive director of the society, which represents 6,000 corporate intelligence gatherers in 45 countries. Nonetheless, over the years many corporates have used the time-honored technique to spy on their competitors and enemies. The Financial Times warns, "Corporate spying can cause long-term damage to a company's reputation, as British Airways discovered in the 1990s when it hacked into the computers of its rival Virgin Atlantic."



Dumpster diving can be a hazardous activity for many reasons. Aside from the physical dangers of actually getting into a dumpster, dumpster diving can be hazardous for your reputation. P & G puts the blame on another company but they were negligent in hiring a company that would engage in such activities. The said company, if guilty, should be brought to legal proceedings. They engaged in an activity that is very similar to theft.

Is this practice even legal? I guess if you throw something into a public dumpster you are giving up your right to privacy on those items. It does seem very unethical though.