Avon Products

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Pages: 7 (2440 words) Published: January 20, 2014

Executive Summary
Avon Products is a well-known beauty and cosmetics company, mainly geared towards women. The company has good ethical ideals clearly stated in their values statement, and has a Code of Conduct that highlights a lot of areas of ethics and the company’s view of that aspect in regards to how each employee should act. They have a decent structure when it comes to what the company would like to see from their employees, however, it seems as though employees are not following that structure. Because of the multiple and continual infractions from their employees, I would fail the company for all of its unethical practices. The company has been getting an awful reputation, and is looked on as a troubled company. The company has been under investigation for bribery and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Policies Act ever since 2008. As of September 26th, when I conducted my initial research I noted that the company had spent around $250 million due to this investigation. That number has risen, and is continually rising. More infractions overseas in regards to bribery keep popping up, and it is costing the company ridiculous amounts of money. The fact that the company has been under investigation for five years straight, and things are STILL popping up on the radar shows that they are practicing poor ethics. In order to repair its reputation and to align itself with ethical values once again, Avon needs to make some changes. I would recommend a zero tolerance policy when it comes to breach of their Code of Conduct, as well as expanding that code and developing a strict Code of Ethics. I would also advise training in ethics for every employee within Avon Products. New infractions to their policies and laws should not be continuing to happen, and they need to act so that it does not continue. Avon Products

The company that I chose to analyze for my ethics audit is Avon Products. I chose this organization because I learned that they have had some interesting legal allegations, and I would like to learn more about their company in regards to its ethics and those allegations. Avon uses door-to-door sales people, as well as brochures to sell its products. Initially, it seems like it would be a very cheap business model. As the company continued to grow, they expanded around the world. Due to one of their legal allegations, the company has spent close to $250 million in the grand scheme of things as a punishment towards that allegation. Because of this, I assumed that the company had either poor ethics, or a lack of quality people in positions of power. The point of my audit is to check out what they offer in regards to ethics, and to see what is missing, lacking, or needs improvement. I also will give a couple suggestions as to how I think Avon can improve on their ethics overall, because if they have spent that much money because of poor ethics and judgment, there is definitely some room for improvement.

Avon has both a mission and a values statement. Their values statement states that the key traits the company values is trust, respect, belief, humility, and integrity. These five things are great qualities of a person, and someone showing good ethics in their decisions would most likely have all of these characteristics. Something their value statement is missing, however, I would think is leadership and ownership. Ownership being important because you need to own up to what you have done, and be personally accountable for everything you do. While Avon may say that humility covers that, I would think the addition of ownership would solidify that point. Their mission statement, however, does not really reflect ethics in any way. Avon’s mission is: to be the leader in global beauty, women’s choice for buying, premier direct-selling company, most admired company, best place to work, and to have the largest foundation dedicated to women’s causes. Most of these aspects in their mission statement have to do with the...

Cited: "Avon Products Inc." Avon Products Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.
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