Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
MBA 520 A: Marketing Principles
Instructor: Pro. Robert McElrath
April 10th, 2013
My Thoughts on Ethical Issues in Marketing Warfare
The authors of Marketing Warfare, Al Ries and Jack Trout, argue that marketing is war and that the marketing concept customer-oriented philosophy is inadequate. Rather, firm would do better by becoming competitor-oriented. As the preface of the book states, Marketing Warfare was first published in the dark ages of competition, when the term “global economy” did not exist. After reading this book and taking this marketing course, I find there are some issues, which might not be concerned not ethical now days, related to the cases in the book. In the first case study- The cola war, the authors spend pages to state the competition history of the soft drink business, especially the cola business in America. However, I am not going to discuss the strategy change of each company, nor am I going to analyze the ranking change of each company. I find at some point of the development of soft drink companies, they violate the ethical issue in marketing- Market audience. Those companies target on the vulnerable – the children. When the definition of caffeine is brought on the table, only coke that contains caffeine can be called cola, and this is mandated by the Food and Drug Administration. Parents don’t want their children to have caffeine and be stimulated, so at this point the soft drink company Seven-up caught the opportunity and launched the non-caffeine drinks or even the “no artificial color” drinks. However I found this marketing strategy has some ethical issues, even customers don’t straggle with the definition of “no artificial color”, which seems impossible. As we know the ingredient of the coke, or the soft drinks is phosphoric acid, which can dissolve a nail in four...