My arrival at Consumer Reports marks a new beginning for me, and my hope is that it also marks a new era for those who want to have a more positive impact on the marketplace. Each of us wants to be a part of something that contributes to fairness, safety and value in this new dynamic landscape of goods and services. But how do we do that and who can we partner with to make sure our everyday needs and core values inspire us to drive marketplace changes that will improve the quality of our lives?
At Consumer Reports we know your voice needs to be heard and that you belong to a special group of followers who want trusted analysis when you make decisions, and who want to know that the rules of the road are designed to work in your favor. My goal is to not only meet your high bar for excellence but also to raise it even higher because that is what the times demand. We are taking a hard look at ways we can continue to improve what we do to surpass your expectations and continue to earn your trust. And what we do to achieve that goal needs to be informed by you.
A lot has changed since Consumer Reports opened its doors in 1936, but our mission has not. The words of one of our founders, Colston Warne, ring as true today as they did 75 years ago: “Consumer freedom of choice is the mainstay of our economic system, but uninformed choice is not free choice.”
I take that to mean free choice depends on a fair exchange, but where’s the fair exchange when you’re driving your car and it stops in the middle of the highway and puts your family at risk? Where’s the fair exchange when you’re shopping and buying food for your family and you don’t know what the risks are?
Where’s the fair exchange when the only loan that you have available to you is from a payday lender?
That fair exchange is the heart and soul of who we are.
In Colston Warne’s day, there were few sources you could turn to for help. Today you can go online to get and give opinions on just about anything. Our competition is stiff. We know that. But competition is the hallmark of a healthy marketplace. So we want to continue to offer you something that’s hard to find out there: scrupulously accurate information that enables you to make informed decisions. Unlike our competitors, we are a not-for-profit. Our mission is your well-being, not profits. We buy every single product we test. We don’t accept freebies, nor do we accept advertising dollars from manufacturers—meaning we are wholly independent and our Ratings are wholly unbiased.
As a nonprofit, we rely on you to support our efforts. You make it possible for us to be the only consumer organization with 50-plus testing labs, a state-of-the-art auto-testing center, a consumer-research brain trust that elicits your views and a team of highly trained experts who work hard monitoring the marketplace and “watching the watchdogs” in government who are working to level the playing field for consumers.
For us, the new digital shift means we can keep taking the national pulse and engaging you wherever you are, exceeding your expectations in our magazine and on our website, and being the trusted catalyst lifting your voices to make change happen in Washington, D.C., or the statehouse.
But we need to do better—much better—at reaching you and providing value to you wherever you are, whenever you need it, and however you need it. We must drive marketplace changes that reflect your values of fairness and safety. We don’t want you to be surprised when you see us trying new ways to reach you, new ways to report to you, and new ways to make change happen.
I hope you will join me in making us stronger, louder, and more powerful, because it won’t happen without your help. I want to hear from you, so please share your ideas with me
—Marta L. Tellado, President & CEO