Anne Of Green Gables 2

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

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Marketplace ethics is extremely important in today's consumer world. Where would we be without marketplace ethics, without businesses who will guarantee the safety of their customers? Controversy surrounds companies like Microsoft, charged with unlawful monopolization of the PC operating system market, and tobacco companies whose slick advertisements are aimed at attracting impressionable teenagers. I believe that business ethics must be exercised rigorously. Consumers have rights: the right to safety and protection, the right to information, the right to choose, and the right to quality. Companies must be truthful, no matter what the consequences, to ensure satisfication and safety. Dangerous toy? Recall the item! The Pinto was a small car that Ford manufactured twenty years ago. The design of the gas tank was unsafe and a delayed change was the topic of a huge controversy. When the Pinto was hit from behind, the gas tank sometimes exploded. Ford was aware of this when they manufactured the car.

The company was eventually accused in the wrongful death of three young women. This case is an excellent example of corporate greed and disregard for the welfare of customers. Did the company act ethically? I don't think so. It is the responsibility of manufacturers to provide warranties that will live up to their claims. Ford crossed the line, ignoring their duty to customers. Another interesting debate concerning business ethics is that of advertising. While we value the freedom of speech, advertisements are powerful and many believe that harmful products- such as cigarettes- should not be advertised. Young children and teenagers, who seek identity, are often targeted by tobacco companies that present a "cool" image of smoking. Alvin Poussaint, a professor at Harvard, calls this "nothing less than an invasion of the hearts and minds of our children, convincing them that who they are is what they buy." I believe that tobacco companies abuse their rights to freedom of speech by associating cigarettes with images that appeal to young people. The tobacco industry has attracted millions of our youth, and has made billions of dollars in profit. Companies and manufacturers must be ethical and know what is inherently moral, in order to protect their consumers.