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Ethical Considerations in Marketing and Advertising Strategies

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Introduction

BA Marketing Management Information Systems 1 - IM12001 Ethical Considerations in Marketing and Advertising Strategies CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PAGES 3 AND 4 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN MARKETING RESEARCH PAGES 4 AND 5 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN ADVERTISING AND SALES PROMOTION PAGES 5 AND 6 ETHICS IN TARGET MARKETS AND MARKET SEGMENTATION PAGE 6 ETHICAL REASONING PAGES 7 AND 8 CONCLUSION PAGES 10 AND 11 BIBLIOGRAPHY PAGES 12 AND 13 DIARGAM OF FERRELL AND GRESHEM'S MODEL ON ETHICAL DECISION MAKING 0N PAGE 9. INTRODUCTION Ethics involve issues of human behaviour and human judgement applied in everyday situations. The subject of ethics arises in marketing and advertising frequently and careful consideration has to be given to it as if, handled poorly, the public backlash could be huge. Lazniak and Murphy have highlighted this, "When a marketing decision is ethically troublesome, its highly visible outcomes can be a public embarrassment or sometimes worse."1 Customers don't have the skills to fully assess the products they are offered except in a general way of judging the fitness of that product for the purpose for which it was purchased. There are ethical and moral regulators in marketing and advertising, but even still there are opportunities for policies which pay the highest commission to be recommended more strongly than others as well offensive advertising and many more.

Middle

in advertising an sales promotion * fraud in sales promotion Truth in advertising has been an ethical issue since the earliest use of advertising. In most countries advertisers are subject to stringent self-regulation by industry bodies and government regulation. Advertisers must be able to substantiate claims about product performance. An advertisement is deceptive if there is a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead consumers in a material way - and is therefore ethically wrong. The persuasive intent of advertising gives rise to many ethical questions and grievances - a distortion of the truth is permissible, it is deception that is not. The forms of social harm attributed to advertising include: * sustaining sex/race/age stereotypes * creating false needs among consumers leading to unnecessary or harmful demand (tobacco industry formerly practised this) * increasing materialism It has been suggested that advertising is a 'hidden persuader', manipulating behaviour. As a contributor to socialisation processes, advertising is criticised - rightly or wrongly - because of the values and behaviours it promotes. However, it can also be seen as providing a freedom of choice for the general public. ETHICS IN TARGET MARKETING AND MARKET SEGMENTATION Market selection decisions inevitably involve some consumers and excluding others.

Conclusion

During the last few decades, moral standards have changed; but basic beliefs people have are hard to influence. As De George put it in 1990, "Business is not structured to handle questions of values and morality, and its managers have usually not been trained in business schools to do so. Hence, many businesses have faced a dilemma. They are now beginning to feel they should respond to demands involving social values, and should take moral issues into account in their deliberations, but not know how to do so." 1 An overall ethical marketing concept would be a marvellous goal to achieve, but will it be possible given that in the wider arena of the European Community the blend of cultures may be such that what is good for one country may not be good for another? There are many 'grey' areas within marketing decision-making and behaviour, now clearly a society-wide need for responsible behaviour and moral standards in marketing decisions. Marketers and advertisers - no less than other business specialists - need to embrace these challenges as an aspect of their own professionalism. As we move into the 21st Century, marketers and advertisers will almost certainly increasingly consider the ethical ramifications of their strategies prior to them being put into action. Whether or not this is due to their own moral standards or public pressure is irrelevant.

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