Marketing and ethics are often most clearly seen when we look at promotions, advertising, and labeling. Sometimes organizations rely on consumers making assumptions based in part on the organization’s promotional wording or messages. While they are not necessarily untrue a consumer may not stop to think about the claims and rely on their own interpretation of them instead. While often this is not illegal, there is a fine line of what is ethical and unethical. For example, there are multiple definitions for how organic an organic item really is, are free range chickens really roaming in a field, how natural is a “natural” product? How do you know someone is really the leader in customer satisfaction when they make this claim? Is that in all levels of satisfaction or in limited area(s)? What about commercials that show actors as though they have benefited from the product(s), but in very fine nearly illegible print at the bottom it says these are not actual users? (These are just some examples to get your ideas flowing.) Objective: Explore ethics in marketing. Materials: Your own experience, observations, the material in the texts and weekly reading, the internet and other media sources. Select One of the Options Below: Option #1 – In at least 300 words, please address the following: 1) Think about your own consumer response to promotional strategies of a specific product that rely on vague terms, or unsubstantiated claims to attract their target market. 2) What is the product and it’s promotional claim(s)? 3) Please provide examples of possible assumptions consumers may make about the product or service. 4) What is your reasoning for why consumers are likely to assume these? 5) What is the truth about their promotion? 6) Please discuss your thoughts on the ethics of your example as far as developing promotional strategies are concerned. What reasoning has led you to conclude this?
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