Ethical issues in marketing
The importance of ethics in marketing is growing. Recognition and respect for ethics, covering a wide range of issues can be used as USP (unique selling point) for a company. Each society will have it own unwritten code of behavior. However view of matter will change over time. Due to this societal marketing concept has emerged which requires that marketer adhere to socially responsible and ethical practices in the marketing of their goods and products. Below is the definition of ethics.
Ethic: A principle of right of good conduct, or a body of such principle.
In the coming pages two companies have been taken into consideration in regards to whether their behavior is ethical towards their stake holders.
1. The Body Shop ( A cosmetic products producer and retailer) 2. Green Mountain coffee roasters ( a coffee retail company).
An August 1996 edition of Marketing Success briefly covered some issues of ethics which might be of relevance to marketers, using the 4Ps of the marketing mix as a framework. Below we discuss the response of the above mentioned two organizations to ethics in marketing.
| | | |Body Shop |Green Mountain Coffee Roasters(GMCR) | | |GMCR is one of the leader in specialty coffee industry, and has | |The body Shop has successfully manufactured an image of being a |been recognized by Forbes Magazine for the past four years as one| |caring company that is helping to protect the environment and |of the “200 Best Small Companies in America.” The company | |indigenous people, and prevent the suffering of animals – whilst |contributes at least five percent of its pre-tax profit annually | |selling ‘Natural Products’. |to support socially responsible initiatives, many of which have | | |been supported for the past ten years. In 2003 three Business | | |ethics magazine ranked GMCR on 8th position fir its efforts. | |Product | | | | |The Body Shop gives the impression that their products are made |GMCR promises to deliver high quality coffee. As a result it has | |from mostly natural ingredients. Like all big cosmetic companies |been recognized the by Forbes Magazine as one of the “ 200 Best | |they make wide use of non-renewable petrochemicals, synthetic |Small Companies in America”. The Companies products are Fair | |colors, fragrances and preservatives, and in many of their |Trade Certified, which means it pays fairly to its supplier of | |products they use only tiny amounts of botanical-based |coffee beans, for which they get high quality coffee and in turn | |ingredients. Studies by some experts have shown that body shop |the consumer get a fine product for their money. | |products contain chemicals which are harmful for the human skin. |Effects on environment: GMCR and National Wildlife Federation had| |For example, Zia Wesley-Hosford(a consumer advocate and cosmetic |made a joint effort in promoting the benefits shade grown | |expert) stated” I selcted seven basic skin and body care items[of|certified organic Fair Trade coffee to US consumers. To | |body shop] and found all of them contain two or more of the |inaugurate this effort, GMCR and NWF has unveiled two co-branded |...
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