Role of marketing in ethical practices in our society

Essay by 2be1 March 2007

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Marketing professionals have a duty to act honestly and ethically in their dealings with consumers and the environment. With the growing importance placed on "environmentally friendly" behaviour, businesses are encouraged to act "green". Consumer Protection laws such as the 1974 Trade Practices Act (TPA) present obligations to businesses to act ethically. Issues relating to the ethics of marketing include: the 'creation of needs' rather than responding to consumer demands and using the guise of research as a means to sell, known as 'sugging'. It is very important businesses do not promote their products in a misleading or deceptive manner. When marketing strategies, it is necessary to consider if the age of the target market is appropriate to be aimed at. Price Discrimination is prohibited under the TPA, and only under certain conditions may businesses sell their products or services at different prices to different customers. Manufacturers cannot set a price for their product.

This is known as Retail Price Maintenance (RPM), and is illegal. A product or service must meet its implied conditions, written or otherwise. It is recommended that businesses abide my all the relevant government legislations, and avoid any activity that is misleading to the consumer. It could be viable to establish committees within the business to monitor ethical behaviour of management and subordinates.

Environmentally Responsible Products

Since the 1960s there has been a growing concern about the damage that industrial activity has been causing to the natural environment. Businesses have been forced to change, either by the demands of customers or government legislation. For example, environmental groups successfully lobbied for the removal of CFCs used in aerosol cans and car air-conditioning because they damaged the ozone layer. As a result, there have been major changes in the way goods and services are marketed to make them appear...