Social Responsibility and Ethics in Marketing example

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Social Responsibility and Ethics in Marketing


Institutional Affiliation

Social Responsibility and Ethics in Marketing


Social responsibility and ethical principles are two elements that redefine the role of marketing. An organization is socially responsible when it is concerned about the interests of the society within which it conducts business. In the context of marketing, an organization is socially responsible when it takes moral actions to establish a positive impact on shareholders, employees, and consumers. Social responsibility has redesigned modern marketing to start focusing on marketing messages that do not violate the moral principles of fair and truthful business practices. Ethics establishes the principles that marketing activities follow to ensure that modern marketing is fair, honest and responsible. Even though the pursuit of both social responsibility and ethics may not guarantee profits, firms are responsible for marketing activities and their impacts on society.

Ethical Issue

Social responsibility and ethical marketing guide aspects of business including research and data use advertising, and competing strategies. On the other hand, failure to adopt ethics in marketing can result in unethical advertising and promotion (Worcester, 2009). Unethical advertising and promotion refer to the practice of making false claims about the qualities and usefulness of products for the sake of making profits. In recent times, Nestlé has been accused of unethical advertising and promotion. The company has been under fire for its predatory and aggressive marketing tricks in marketing baby foods in developing nations. The company has been advertising and promoting its baby food products as substitutes to breast milk. Unfortunately, consumers of the products have reported serious health implications. This is just an example of the negative consequences of unethical advertising and promotion on consumers as well as the reputation of an organization. Below is a list of the different forms of unethical advertisement and promotion that organizations may assume:

False and exaggerated claims: this is common phenomena in the weight loss industry. Marketers make false statements to attract customers. For instance, a marketer can state that his weight loss product can shed 25 kilograms of weight in two weeks.

Distortion of facts: a marketer claims non-existent qualities of a product. For instance, a food processing company can state that its products are free from sugar when in the real sense they contain sugar.

Concealing side effects: this is a common practice in natural remedies industry. Marketers deceive consumers that their products have zero side effects on the pretense that they are made from natural raw materials. However, such products prove to cause side effects in the long-run.

Belittling rival products: highlighting the negative attributes of a competing product is unethical. Marketers need to focus on promoting the positive attributes of their products.

Use of women as sex symbols: it is common for a brand to use half-naked women on products unrelated to women just to attract public attention.

Use of fear tactics: marketers can subject customers to undue pressure to purchase their products on the spot failure to which they promise to either increase prices or reduce the quality.

Copying marketing messages: a marketer can …

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