Unethical Adverting

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Assignment 2: Unethical Advertising
Dupree Clark
B6003: Ethics in Business
Argosy University
Professor Marla Brady
February 11, 2013

To: Harris
CC: Human Resource Department
Subject: Advertisement Campaign Promoting

Bait and switch is a dishonest marketing tactic in which a marketer advertises a very attractive price/rate/term that is really a teaser rate meant to attract customers. One good example of bait and switch is in the mortgage market. In a mortgage bait and switch an agent or company will post exceedingly low mortgage rates, knowing full well that the vast majority of applicants will be unable to qualify for these teaser rates. Once customers begin to come into the office to inquire about the low rate, the agent will proceed to offer them the higher rates they are more likely to qualify for, thus earning greater commission. (Investopedia, 2013)

The American Marketing Association commits itself to promoting the highest standard of professional ethical norms and values for its members. Norms are established standards of conduct that are expected and maintained by society and/or professional organizations. Values represent the collective conception of what communities find desirable, important and morally proper. Values also serve as the criteria for evaluating our own personal actions and the actions of others. In the AMA Ethical Value statement, there is a part that talks about fairness and it said, “to balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller”. This means that marketers need to refuse from engaging in price fixing, predatory pricing, and price gouging or “bait-and-switch” tactics. (American Marketing Association, 2013) According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumer laws will allow an aggrieved party to sue for damages if they are the victim of a bait and switch. A competing business may also be able to take action in court against individuals who practice the bait and switch. Consumer laws will hold...
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