Introduction, Ethics in Marketing
Marketing and advertising plays a key role in a market society. The more competition there is, the more important marketing becomes. The Advertising Standards Authority states "no advertisement should mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omissions or otherwise" (Wyburd, 1998, p. 43); all highly subjective criteria. There are many questionable areas in advertising such as the use of misleading or half-truths used to win customer and the subjective standards of decency often used to limit by the ever-present sexual exploitation of women to sell everything from washing machines to tires.
Competitive and Ethical, a book by Giles Wyburd (1998), includes four main justifications for advertising.
* Advertising plays an important role in providing information to consumers on products that are available.
* The product being sold must be distinguished from its rivals
* Advertising is vital in establishing brands that consumers can recognize
* Volume can be built up by creating demand, especially for new products, which can lead to lower prices.
Conversely, Wyburd sees the unethical side as follows.
* The information given in advertisements is not as objective as it should be
* The way in which products are distinguished one from another is sometimes dishonest
* The cost of establishing and then keeping brands in the minds of the public is far too high and adds to the price of the product
* Advertising creates demand, or even makes consumers think they have needs they had never dreamed of previously.
The practice of using children as the target audience for adult products such as tobacco and alcohol, the use of outlandish promises to gain market share, the ethical and unethical use of direct marketing, and marketing copyright infringement or piracy of intellectual property will be explored in this report.
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