When a consumer might be considered “vulnerable” to advertisers

Instructions:

Due: Sunday, End of Module by 11:55 p.m. EST

Respond to the following questions in your own words. Your responses should include specific examples and should incorporate concepts and terms from Chapters 8 and 9 in your textbook.

  1. Does the desire to buy the lowest price product ever create any ethical dilemmas for a consumer? Why or why not?
  2. Explain how and when a consumer might be considered “vulnerable” to advertisers. Should the ethics of marketing to the vulnerable be considered in allowing advertisements? Why or why not?
  3. In a local or national newspaper, find an article about a topic related to business ethics. Read the article. Then, write 3–5 paragraphs that answer one of the following questions:

Explain what the article is about. Discuss how the company described in the article developed a “cutting edge” marketing campaign. Is there any part of this campaign that you would consider deceptive or unfair to any consumers? If so, how? How might such an advertising campaign be changed going forward to alleviate some of your concerns?

Writing Requirements:

  • APA format
  • 3–4 pages in length (excluding cover page, abstract, and reference list)
  • Use the APA template located in the Course Information folder to complete the assignment.

 

 

 

Does the desire to buy the lowest price product ever create any ethical dilemmas for a consumer? Why or why not?

I do think that the desire to buy the lowest price may create an ethical dilemma for a consumer. This desire has multiple factors influencing it. It could be a confrontation of an ethical dilemma that is in the control of the consumer or an ethical situation that is not in the control of the consumer but the company that the consumer I am doing business with. The consumer just overlooks the ethical violations by the company they are doing business with and just focusing on the lower price that he/she is getting. As we studied in the Walmart case study (Desjardins, 2014) that federal raids on 60 Walmart stores in 2003 resulted in the arrest of 250 illegal immigrants. The raids took place in 20 states. The illegal immigrants were working as janitors in Walmart stores. This was helping Walmart get their services for lower wages than they would pay to a local person. This is grave violation of ethical standards on two levels. First is allowing illegal immigrants is both ethically and legally wrong. Secondly, paying below minimum wages is also both ethically and legally wrong. But from a consumer’s point of view, did a lot of consumer’s stop purchasing at Walmart? I believe that not a lot of people did. But this did pose as ethical situation to the consumers where they had to make a decision about buying at lowest rates of Walmart vs their ethical violations. How consumers deal with such situations is out of the scope of this paper.

Another ethical dilemma does come in focus when consumers are doing business with companies who import products from countries like Bangladesh and some African countries where the environments in which the workers produce the imports are inhumane. Especially in the garment factories in Bangladesh (Stewart, 2014).  Due to poverty, people are forced to work for as low as 2 dollars a day. This surely presents an ethical dilemma to consumers in the western words who enjoy the lowest prices at the cost of the poor workers.

Ethical dilemma can also be created when a consumer thinks that they need to buy a product with lower prices but there might be quality implications. For example, a consumer might be buying something for his/her kids for a lower price, but it could have safety issues vs an expensive product with less or no safety issues.

Explain how and when a consumer might be considered “vulnerable” to advertisers. Should the ethics of marketing to the vulnerable be considered in allowing advertisements? Why or why not?

Many situations come to my mind when a consumer might be considered as “vulnerable” to advertisers. For example, children can be considered as vulnerable to many kinds of advertisements including advertisement by junk food companies who would tell them the benefits of eating the junk food but would never tell them what the disadvantages are. Marketer try to target the innocence of children in my opinion by influencing them to sell their products irrespective of the negative implications.

Consumers with health and beauty issues are also vulnerable in my opinion. For example, a whitening cream has to advertise they are being dark skin is bad in some way which is an ethical violation of business standards at all levels. So, the people with dark skin are influenced psychologically and told that they need the product to be identified with the fair skin people.

In short advertisers would exploit any opportunity that can help them in selling more and maximizing profits. Unfortunately, advertisers might do anything that is legal irrespective whether it is ethical or unethical.

I strongly believe that the ethics of marketing should be considered when advertising to vulnerable people. This would help in protecting them from the physical or psychological damage caused to them due to their vulnerability. I do think that it is the responsibility of advertisers to be cautious in this matter. Also, it is the responsibility of governmental administration to ensure that vulnerable people are protected from unethical advertisement at any cost.

In a local or national newspaper, find an article about a topic related to business ethics. Read the article. Then, write 3–5 paragraphs that answer one of the following questions:

Article: (“Forbes Welcome”, 2016)

Explain what the article is about.

The article is about the power of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook and utilizing them as a tool for cutting edge marketing campaign. The article suggests that before Google AdWords used to be the most influential advertisement tool on internet but now endorsements by people mostly celebrities who have a high number of followers.

Discuss how the company described in the article developed a “cutting edge” marketing campaign.

The article is not about a specific company, instead it is about the overall use of utilizing cutting edge advertisement in the field of social media. There are many celebrities who are followed by millions of followers. These celebrities are reached out by different advertisement agencies to endorse product on their behalf. They might be paid huge amounts of money just to share an already existing advertisement on their social media pages.

Is there any part of this campaign that you would consider deceptive or unfair to any consumers? If so, how? How might such an advertising campaign be changed going forward to alleviate some of your concerns?

Personally, the whole idea of endorsements is unethical to me. I mean there is no guarantee that the endorsing celebrity s using the product, or they have ever bought that product. But they use the love and trust they get from their followers to endorse products only to receive financial gains and nothing else.

In my opinion, the celebrities who endorse a product should first do some kind of research to know the advantages and disadvantages of the products that they may endorse. If they find that the product is not in the best interest of their followers, they should never endorse it.

 

 

References

Desjardins, J. (2014). An Introduction to Business Ethics, 5th Edition. New York, NY: McGraw    Hill Companies.

Forbes Welcome. (2016). Forbes.com. Retrieved 2 October 2018, from             http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2014/02/19/6-powerful-sports-marketing-promotions-that-are-better-than-google/#6175af1718f9

Stewart, K. L. (2014). An ethical analysis of the high cost of low-priced clothing. Journal of         Academic and Business Ethics, 8, 1.