Marketing Law And Ethics: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Ethical Behaviour In Marketing.

1104 words - 4 pages

Marketing Law and EthicsAssignment One - EthicsBeing ethical as a marketer has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. The 'negative' advantages are obvious, all of which point to personal and business gain. However, to say that one must act unlawfully to be unethical would be false. The provided statement is completely factual and is particularly relevant to marketing and, more accurately, business, in the fact that "ethics are not, by definition, counterproductive to profit, but may be beneficial to profit."Hypothetically, a marketer would need to accept the above statement as 'bible' in reference to the marketing mix, or rather simply, 'the four P's (price, product, promotion and placement). The simplistic fundamentals of marketing and business, the marketing mix is essential to the success of a business and their respective products, so it is appropriate that it also be applied to another quintessential factor of business in ethics.The first and arguably most important aspect of the marketing mix, price can pose quite a few ethical dilemmas and has done so in the past. One example of this is price collusion or price-fixing. This is where a product or service is set at an unreasonable price with knowledge that the consumer can't afford not to purchase the product or service. One such instance of this occurred in America when leading toy chain Toys 'R' Us "violated federal trade laws by colluding with manufacturers to keep prices for Barbie, Mr. Potato Head and other popular toys artificially high." While it was unlawful, it was also an unethical act as well as a form of extortion.The second factor of the marketing mix, product, is also subjected to ethical dilemmas. Planned product obsolescence is a prime example of an unethical act in relation to product. This is where there is a planned life-span of a good, producing a product so that it will wear out inside a period of time, most often beyond it's warrantee. To say such an act is unethical is to question how much disclosure of information is truly enough. In my personal opinion, it is a wrongful act and one that I consider unethical. On the other end of the spectrum, acting ethically and creating a reliable product would be just as beneficial to a company and it's reputation, if not more so.Promotion can also be unethical. Attempts to persuade someone that a product is 'needed' by them when it quite obviously is not is wrong, especially when there are so many influential consumers in the market. Intrusive marketing is unethical as well. Alternately, promoting a product responsibly and ethically can be quite beneficial to a business, particularly when the "highest standard of moral conduct" has been reached, which makes a business appear conscious of unethical behaviour. One example of this is the Body Shop which is the benchmark in ethical business practices in Australia.Product placement is often quite deceptive. Some may consider the issue of placing products on certain 'eye-levels'...

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