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Sales And Marketing: A Breading Ground For Unethical Behavior

2344 words - 10 pages

The United States’ capitalist economy has led the country to become the most successful and powerful nation in the world. Our national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011 was approximately $14 trillion which accounts for roughly a quarter of the global GDP. The combined GDP of the 27 member nations of the European Union totals only $2 trillion more than that of our single nation (Antholis). Even during our recent economic decline, the U.S. remains to be the worldwide powerhouse that paves the way for global trading. We have managed to accomplish these incredible figures and set a universal example due to a combination of producing cutting edge technology and having an extremely ...view middle of the document...

People are also a driving force in the power of persuasion as companies search for the most competitive and ambitious sales force to storm the streets and gain a greater market share for their firms. Sales professionals are often given quotas and dollar figure goals to reach in order to be considered successful within their role. If they are not successful…well, we all know that competition does not exist solely between companies, but also between personnel working within those companies. Human capital is easily replaceable as the unemployment rate has reached record highs in the past few years. Fixed annual salaries are becoming a rarity for sales professionals and a commission structure is now the dominant form of compensation driving these individuals to sell more of a company’s product. These incentives are a great way for companies to minimize their fixed costs and financial obligations as well as inspiring their sales force to achieve company goals and meet quotas. However, it can also promote a cut-throat atmosphere that is a breeding ground for questionable business practices and encourages personnel to engage in unethical activities in order to sell their product at all costs. There is a reason that society has placed a negative connotation on the term “salesman” and they are often portrayed by Hollywood as slime ball egomaniacs that will lie, cheat and steal in order to make a dollar. The Gordon Gekko’s, Ace Rothstein’s, and Jerry McGuire’s of the big pictures were all highly successful businessmen that lived lavish lives but were depicted as people that would stab you in the back if it meant making a buck or two. There are many sales techniques and numerous situations for sales and marketing professionals that present ethical issues or dilemmas and we will explore some of these areas in the following pages.
As previously mentioned, advertising campaigns have become such a large part of our daily lives that we have come to barely even notice that they are actually trying to sell a product. If you visit Times Square in New York City, it is not difficult to notice that one of the main attractions has become the various billboards, posters, vegas-esque lights, and scantily clad models that are plastered across the sides of the many sky scrapers that Manhattan is known for. In fact, it has become somewhat challenging to actually see the buildings that these billboards are mounted on. Sex appeal is, and long has been, one of the most utilized marketing techniques employed by fashion companies as well as many other industries to promote their products. Calvin Klein is almost synonymous with the term “sex appeal” as their portraits of models and celebrities show very little of their clothing and more skin than most parents would care for their children to see. Admittedly, seeing an image of David Beckham’s washboard abs and dare I say, protruding package, gives other males the notion that they too can look like a...

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