To what extent unethical marketing techniques could damage the sustainable business environment. Discuss. Marketing is like a double-edged sword, if it is adopted properly, it will give profits to a company; however, if it is used inadequately, it will give harm. It is undeniable that today’s business operations have more intense competition level against each other due to the advancement of technology that allows people to receive more information. Marketing plays the key role in making products being recognized by consumers. To get people’s attention, some massages about the product need to be sent to the target market. With the high level of competition, the unethical marketing issues arise in order to make their own firms gain more attentions. However, this affects directly on customers as they are misled by dishonest advertisements, and it can impact the organization as well, as it destroys the sustainable business environment of a company. The paper will firstly explain about the selected unethical marketing techniques that commonly used in advertising and promotion with some examples, and then will move on to the discussion about sustainable business environment and the impacts of unethical marketing practices to the organization. Unethical marketing techniques
Dishonest advertising is commonly practiced by today businesses, and it is one of the top ten concerned ethical issues in marketing practices besides bribery and unfair pricing issues (Chonko & Hunt, 2000). The unethical marketing issues in advertisement have been a critical discussion for a long time because it is not a ‘recent phenomenon’. Dishonest advertising can be practiced through the promoting a false or misleading statement about the product in order to draw public attentions as advertisements are the powerful marketing tool persuading people to try and purchase the product (Thachappilli, 2010). Several selected advertising and promotion tactics that this paper will discuss are individual autonomy, consumer sovereignty, brand parody, and comparative advertising. Individual autonomy is considered to be unethical when a company focuses on those target audiences who have a low level of autonomy or maturity. The advertising targets at a group of people who are lack of ability to aware or respond to the product promoting through the psychoactive ads. This strategy arouses one’s desire toward a particular product, which affects and reflects his self-esteem and social status. It also uses the ‘sneer group pressure’ to lure people to follow the mainstream as they are in the materialism culture. The advertising promotion usually uses the role model to attract the target market. And, the victims of this kind of advertisement, usually, are young people, who lack of experience to recognize the manipulative power of advertising (Nwachukwu et al., 1997). Unlike adults, children have less ability to differentiate between the marketing and the real fact. They also tend to belief in the advertisement and likely to have more purchase requests as many of them can influence parents’ spending decision. However, if those children live in poverty, this can trigger numerous social problems: young thieves, young drug dealers, and, the worst case, young murderers. The example of the advertisement that is heavily criticized about targeting on people who are not autonomous is from the famous athlete shoes brand, the Nike Air Jordan campaign. Critics support that Nike used the role model to target young people, who are not able to afford an expensive pair of athletic shoes (Nwachukwu et al., 1997). Even though children are a lucrative market, it is unethical to target on them. Consumer sovereignty practice is more ethical when an advertisement focuses on people who are knowledgeable, aware of the uses of the product and the availability of alternative products or brands (high level of sovereignty consumers), but it is unethical when it targets to those who are less aware...
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