Ethics in Alcohol Advertising

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Marketing and Ethics


Marketing is a commercial right in many countries; it gives information to consumers about brands and choices, and also helps businesses with the selling of their products. In a market economy; some businesses are expected to act in a way, in which they have their own best interest. The field of marketing is there to create sustained competitive advantage. This advantage can only be achieved, when an organization does a better job than its competitors by satisfying the needs of both consumers and the organization. But the key issue here is that commercial freedoms need to be balanced against consumer’s safety and well-being.

The field of marketing is undeniably that’s which raises the most controversies when it comes to the question of ethics. For instance, our economic system has become more effective at catering consumer needs and wants, therefore, there is an increase focus on organisations adhering to ethical values rather than merely providing products. There are two reasons behind this focus. First, when marketing practices fails to meet the standards, which are considered acceptable by the society, the market process becomes less effective and occasionally it is even interrupted. When an organisation behaves ethically, customers grow more of a positive attitude about its products, services and the firm itself. Therefore, ethical marketing practice is important to build trust between customers and the firm, otherwise it may lead to a lack of trust, bad publicity, dissatisfied customers, or legal action. For this reason, many organisations are very touchy to the needs and views of their customers and find ways to protect their long-term interests (Ghani et al., 2011).

Furthermore, ethical abuses often put on pressure for institutions to take responsibilities for their actions. Since abuses occur, many people believe that such type of business practices are in abundance. For this reason, professional associations, consumer interest groups and self-regulatory groups have heavy influence on marketing (Laczniak and Murphy, 2006).

This literature focuses on marketing, which is the only business discipline that is most engaged with the linkage between the firm and the environment. The business world is changing because of increase in customers demand. Marketing ethics have been becoming more important to people. They do not like the idea of corporations exploiting the poor to produce cheaper products. Nor they are comfortable with manufacturing techniques which cause harm to the environment. Marketing which goes beyond the mere provision of information about a product may seek to manipulate our values and behavior. The aim of this literature is to evaluate the ethical aspects of marketing particularly alcohol marketing. To find out how advertisements manipulate people, the likelihood between the awareness of alcohol marketing and influence on young people drinking behaviour and what is government doing to resolve this issue.


Ethics often is a frustrating subject. This is not because people are resistant to it, though talking about ethics can often be discomforting as people “think out loud” while they struggle with dilemmas. History has shown that "unethical" acts were committed throughout. Many of the ancient Greek philosophers have developed many theories of ethics (Laczniak and Murphy, 2006). One of the early study defined ethics as the “ "inquiry into theories of what is good and evil and into what is right and wrong, and thus is inquiry into what we ought and ought not to do” Beauchamp and Bowie(1983, pp.3). Similarly, the two decades later ethics defined as “set of moral principles or values. It distinguishes between what is good and bad; determines moral duty and obligations; establishes principles of conduct for an individual and a professional group” Crommelin and Pline (2007, pp.42-43).

Ethics apply to every field. In business, ethics is the...
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