Essay “Ethical Issues in Marketing”
Ethical marketing is a process through which companies generate customer interest in products/services, build strong customer interest/relationships, and create value for all stakeholders by incorporating social and environmental considerations in products and promotions (Financial Times Lexicon). In this essay I would like to illustrate how a company used unethical application of marketing its production on the case of targeting children. Children are more easily to be affected and are vulnerable to advertisements. There were many cases when tobacco and even some alcohol companies targeted children as future consumers. Tobacco and cancer are closely connected therefore tobacco products harm consumers’ health. I will explain it on the case of Camel Tobacco Company.
In 1974 the Camel Tobacco Company introduced its advertisement campaign called Old Joe with cartoon mascot Joe Camel. However there are a lot of researches who proved that Camel cigarettes were targeted children because Joe Camel was more popular than Mickey Mouse or Flintstones among children. After 3 years of introducing Old Joe campaign the Camel brand has become the choice of one-quarter to one-third of smokers under the age of 18. It has been a successful strategy as sales from children’s cigarette market increased from 0.5 percent to 32.8 percent.
This case shows that unethical marketing practice has been used. Many companies try to violate ethical standards. Marketers should be careful when advertising potentially harmful products or advertising to children. Nowadays in USA there is a Federal Trade Commission - an organization which controls whether certain advertisement is appropriate or not. Also there is an American Marketing Association Code of Ethics which includes ethical values like honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, openness and citizenship and all these criteria should be followed by marketers. However advertisers and marketers find ways...