Winfield, a cigarette brand under the ownership of British American Tobacco Australia (BATA), has been a reputable and popular product in Australia since 1972 and internationally since 1980. This case study examines the ethical dilemmas faced by BATA when seeking to implement appropriate marketing practices to serve their product in the SE Asia region, discusses potential solutions and offers recommendations on how the organisation should proceed.
Carrigan (2005) attempts to define the limits of ethical behaviour for Multinational Companies (MNCs) such as BATA, and acknowledges the dilemma that marketers face when determining how to maximize profits in environments where certain legal standards do meet the ethical benchmark of other countries the corporation operates in. Markets such as Southeast Asia where cigarette legislation ia relaxed or even non-existent (Milenkovic, 2006) make these markets intrinsically attractive to corporations such as BATA, who are seeking to tap into the growth potential of these emerging international markets (Carrigan, 2005). From a traditional marketing perspective this could be viewed as a simple matter of satisfying consumer needs and wants (Tzalikis & Fritzsche, 1989). However, due to the known health risks and detrimental consequences of smoking (Benson, 2010), BATA must consider the ethical dilemmas that arise when planning integrated marketing communication (IMC) tactics for their products.
Case Study Issues
As an international marketing manager for BATA, there are a number of IMC related ethical dilemmas which arise when looking to serve the Southeast Asia market.
The most salient management decision is whether BATA should implement marketing efforts in Southeast Asia which circumvent the legal restrictions that exist in the contemporary first-world countries. Research supports that visual advertising in all forms can have a huge persuasive effect on consumers (McQuarrie & Mick, 1999). As such, developed...