Unethical Marketing and its Consequences
Dr. Henry Roehrich
26 January 2014
Purpose Statement: To provide an understanding what constitutes ethics in marketing, what are some of the laws and code of ethics that protect unethical practices, and provide some examples of unethical behavior in marketing and their consequences? I. What constitutes ethics in marketing?
A. Definition of marketing ethics
II. What are some of the laws and code of ethics that protect unethical practices? A. The Federal Trade Commission
B. The American Marketing Association
III. What are several examples of unethical behavior in marketing and their consequences? A. Misleading Advertising
C. Pushy Sales Tactics
Unethical Marketing and its Consequences
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
- Peter Drucker, Management consultant
Today, it seems as though everyone is aware of ethics, and what ethical values he or she holds and how they apply to their everyday life. Similarly, many companies are changing their structures, training their staff and defining the high importance and expectations when it comes to ethics in business, specifically marketing. Over the many years that businesses have advertised products and services, advertising has gained the general reputation of being dishonest or in some cases adversarial. However, all marketing is not adversarial or stacked in favor of the marketer. A very popular view of marketing in an article from the iContact Corporation website called “Marketing Ethics” makes the stated how marketing ethics in general “is inherently evil, with little truth or outrageous claims that are designed to generate sales. One of the best examples of this is the products promoted on late night television in infomercials. Products that claim overnight wrinkle reduction, hair growth for those experiencing early pattern baldness, or instant weight loss are commonly viewed as unreliable at best and a total scam at their worst” (2014). However, in order to have a fundamental understanding of what unethical marketing is one must understand what constitutes ethics in marketing, what are some of the laws and code of ethics that protect unethical practices, and what are some examples of unethical behavior in marketing and their consequences.
To get a better understanding what constitutes unethical marketing, let us take a look at what marketing ethics mean. Penn (2012) stated “marketing ethics” is a standard by which moral principles are considered within the marketing profession and execution of an advertising campaign or overall strategy for a business and/or organizations. He continued to discuss, the reason we look to the field of applied ethics is that by definition, marketing is working with a large number of people, and attempting to define right and wrong or good and bad is an exercise in futility. Rather, we have to look to the people we are serving and try to match what we do to the greatest good for them as we understand it (Penn, 2012). As we have learned marketing creates a competitive advantage between organizations in order to keep current customers and acquire new customers; companies should also be focused and aware of the wants and needs of their customers. By focusing on the long term interests of their customers, using good marketing techniques and acting ethically while doing so helps a business to be as successful as possible. Unfortunately, many organizations today still act unethically. So the question then one must ask is, what are some of the laws and code of ethics that protect unethical practices?
Ethical guidelines are critical to establishing a trustworthy reputation in the marketing industry. Enforcing the guidelines is critical for maintaining the...
References: American Marketing Association. (2014). Retrieved Jan 23, 2014, from Statement of Ethics: http://www.marketingpower.com/AboutAMA/Pages/Statement%20of%20Ethics.aspx
Burrow, J. L. (2009). Marketing (3 ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Drucker, P. (2014). Search Quotes. Retrieved January 22, 2014, from Marketing Quotes & Sayings: http://www.searchquotes.com/quotes/about/Marketing/1/popular/
Federal Trade Commission - Protecting America 's Consumers. (2014). Retrieved Jan 23, 2014, from ftc.gov: http://www.ftc.gov/about-ft
Mack, S. (2014). Chron. Retrieved Jan 23, 2014, from Unethical Activities in the Field of Marketing: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/unethical-activities-field-marketing-65705.html
Marketing Ethics. (2014). Retrieved Jan 23, 2014, from iContact: http://www.icontact.com/define/marketing-ethics/
Marketography. (2010, Oct 3). Retrieved Jan 23, 2014, from Ethical imperatives of a marketing company: http://marketography.com/tag/bureau-of-competition/
Penn, C. S. (2012, Jun 1). What Is Ethics In Marketing? Retrieved Jan 23, 2014, from christopherspenn.com: http://www.christopherspenn.com/2012/06/what-is-ethics-in-marketing/
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