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Question Number 1: Is it ethical to sell a product that is, at best, only mildly effective? Discuss. Answer Number 1: We do not think that it is unethical to sell a product that is, at best, mildly effective because the effectiveness of a product depends on individual customer perceptions and is therefore, relative. However, if the products ingredients have been tested and scientifically proven ineffective then we think the product should be discontinued due to ethical grounds. Therefore, we take a neutral stand in this point. Skin color is very important to women in Asia region. Most of them prefer a white skin, as white skin is related to higher social caste in places like India. So, most of the women in India uses fairness creams like Fair & Lovely or Fairever on a daily basis. As mentioned earlier the effectiveness of fairness creams depends on individuals perception and therefore relative. Some women said that they have been using the same cream for a long period of time but they have no change in their complexion what so ever. Some other said that they have a comparatively better complexion after using the cream and they received compliments from others about their complexion getting fairer. On the other hand, some women compared the effectiveness of the cream to a miracle. Based on these consumer remarks about the effectiveness of the cream, we think that there is a possibility that Fair & Lovely works on certain types of skin. However, Indian dermatologists have concluded that fairness creams like Fair & Lovely only stays on the upper layer of your skin and does not really help in lightening your skin. Therefore, the only possible explanation to the difference in effectiveness of the cream is due to different individual perception of the cream. Individuals with high expectation regarding the cream felt less satisfied as their expectation did not meet their experience. On the other hand, individuals with low expectation felt satisfied as their expectation met their experience and even sometimes exceeded them, thus referring to the effectiveness of the cream as a miracle.

Case Analysis Fair & Lovely

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The difference may also be due to individual personalities and placebo effect. People who believe that the cream will make them brighter might find them satisfied with the product. Moreover, some people judge themselves as society judges them. That is, they urge for social acceptance and thus, when someone comments on the brightness of their skin after using the cream, they believe that the product is effective. Whatever the case maybe, we do not think that it would be unethical to sell such products, which are mildly effective because they are providing the customer with some satisfaction without causing them any harm.

Question Number 2: Is it ethical to exploit cultural norms and values to promote a product? Discuss. Answer Number 2: We do not agree to exploit cultural norms and values to promote a product, specially, norms and values, which create discrimination. Certainly, Fair & Lovely is creating discrimination through their promotion of the product whilst exploiting cultural norms and values. Even before the existence on HLL, skin color has been a powerful theme in the culture in India, with the lighter color representing a higher status. Even in the ancient scriptures, women who had fairer skin were idolized. The caste system, which has been a major part of the Indian history and is still going on, is biased to the fairer skin that is associated with positive values in relation to class and beauty. Moreover, having fair skin represented intelligence, with the idea that those who stayed inside to study and read were lighter and those who were forced to work outside in the sun all day were darker. The matrimonial advertisements in the Indian newspapers are filled with advertisements looking for fairer groom and brides. At present, they even consider to marry people outside of their caste if the opposite is fairer. The television and cinema culture, which has strong influence on the Indian people is also biased towards the fairer skin. People are constantly comparing themselves to celebrities because they feel that it is what they "should" look like.
Case Analysis Fair & Lovely

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However, Fair & Lovely has taken advantages of these cultural norms and values in promoting their product. Rather than trying to help create an indiscriminate society, they have indirectly encouraged discrimination. Through their promotion they have continuously displayed how fairer women are always praised, accepted and are successful. They have indirectly shown in their advertisement that the identity of a women lies in her fairness, thus creating discrimination using cultural norms and values. Furthermore, since the culture is already biased towards fair women, as we have discussed earlier, these sorts of advertisements relating to such discriminating cultural norms and values, puts women in that culture under more pressure. Pursued by the advertisements and the pressure to feel accepted, women are now much more eager to use their product to look brighter whereas, it has been proven scientifically that the product just only affects the upper layer of the skin and cannot provide fairness. Nevertheless, Fair & Lovely exploited a discriminating cultural norm and value to invoke the social acceptance need of human to promote their product and thus creating discrimination. Therefore, the exploitation of such cultural norms and values cannot be ethical to promote a product.

Question Number 3: Is the advertising of Fair and Lovely demeaning to women or is it portraying a product not too dissimilar to cosmetic in general? Answer Number 3: The advertising of fair and lovely is demeaning to women because they carry the implied message that fairness is the only quality of women and it is not just portraying a general cosmetic product. Most of the fair and lovely advertisements portray women in such a way that without having a fair skin they cannot be successful in life irrespective of their talent and qualification. That is, the qualities of a woman are bound within the fairness of her skin. Moreover, women with darker skin tone are shown to lack confidence in their own capabilities. The extent of the message ranges from a girl getting a boyfriend to a daughter bearing the financial responsibility of her family to being a successful, independent career
Case Analysis Fair & Lovely

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woman. And in all of these cases the only way that a woman can meet her goals is to be fairskinned woman regardless of her qualifications. Generally, a cosmetic is a commodity, which is used to enhance the appearance or the outlook of a person not as a means to be successful in life. Besides, if we follow other advertisements of cosmetic products we can see that those advertisements usually focus on how the product brightens skin, what are the ingredients of the product or how to use the product. However, they barely carry the message that the product is the only mode of achievement and without it a women cannot succeed. The culture in India and the subcontinents are already biased towards fair skinned women and the advertisement of Fair & Lovely clearly shows it. Rather than encouraging women to fight against this biased attitude the advertisements encourages such biasness and pursue women to give into it. In a country where women have to fight for their rights and face so much cultural and social discrimination, advertisements of this sort will make conditions even worse. Moreover, the advertisements tend to make women believe that their identity is solely tied to how they look thus demeaning them. Furthermore, the advertisements violated the Cable and Television Networks Act of 1995, according to which, advertisements which deride any race, caste, colour, creed and nationality shall not be permitted and that, Women must not be portrayed in a manner that emphasized passive, submissive qualities and encourages them to play a subordinate secondary role in the family and society. Ultimately, the bottom line of the Fair & Lovely advertisements is that, if you are not fair you will not get anything, whether it is a boyfriend, a job, or the respect of your parents. This attitude of the advertisement combined with how it relates fairness as an imperative qualification of a women is surely demeaning to all womankind.

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Question Number 4: Will HLLs Fair and lovely foundation counter charges made by AIDWA? Discuss Answer Number 4: With significant consideration of the creation of HLLs Fair & Lovely foundation, we do think that it is an excellent way to promote women entrepreneurship as well as serves to be a tool to counter the charges made by AIDWA. Fair & Lovely completely changed their marketing strategy in order to make up for the loss they acquired after the complaints were filed. HLL cunningly took steps to resurrect its former self in the minds of general masses. Women empowerment is a very sensitive topic and the very thought of HLL using it so efficiently to improve their diminished brand image truly deserves our salute. Although, the company may not be the most ethical in their depiction of women almost a decade earlier when the complaints by AIDWA were put to action, HLL, regardless of their standings in India, made up quite a resolute solution with quite acceptable losses from our vague assumption. It is worth mentioning that Fair & Lovely foundation started Project Shakti to provide adequate opportunities to women with no actual qualification what-so-ever. This, in return, created a healthy motivational appeal to Indian women allowing the countrys economy to rise altogether. It even sponsored scholarships to under-privileged students to compliment to their countrys workforce. Their attainment of a positive buzz through the increment of awareness among women made them what we would like to call A Corporate Paragon. But coming back to the actual issue, HLL was not dumb enough to repeat its previous mistakes i.e. they confined their advertising efforts to that regulated by the legal system. Moreover, HLL signified them as an entity of celestial salvation by By setting up educational foundations for India Empowering the individuals Motivating them to take charge of their fate without clinging to insecurities and Indirectly improving lifestyle quality which can be observed today i.e. 2011
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To conclude, it can be said that HLLs response to the AIDWAs ac cusations resulted in an economic boost for India as well as a boost for themselves considering their situation. Question Number 5: In light of AIDWAs charges, how would you suggest Fair & Lovely promote their product? Discuss. Would your response be different if Fairever continues to use fairness as a theme of their promotion? Discuss. Answer Number 5:

Fair & Lovely The Issue Before we continue to our discussion, let us illuminate on the previous promotional efforts of Fair & Lovely, which was subsequently launched in late 2001, The advertisement depicting a family where the man of the house in retired,

facing financial risks and longs for a son but has a relatively dark skinned daughter. Then their daughter started using Fair & Lovely, became employed as an air hostess and made her family proud. The advertisement where two attractive women are shown to be friends where

one has a boyfriend and the other does not which, in turn, makes the one without the boyfriend unhappy. The happy one then suggests her unhappy friend to use a bar soap to whiten her complexion. These two advertisements dealt a heavy blow to HLL rendering it prone to immense criticism by some for their portrayal of women and their social status leading to AIDWA (All India Democratic Womens Association) pressing complaints which are perfectly valid against HLL for the following criteria, The ads were racist They were promoting son preference i.e. gender discrimination They were insulting working women
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Suggestions If we assume correctly, the development of Fair & Lovely was based on the rising need of being fairer which South Asian women exhibited. They made the error of detailing the smallest aspects of in their ads, which regretfully attained the attention of certain critics and AIDWA. Although they transcended from their losses through promoting their brand image in a varied amount of ways, their promotional campaigns might still be considered volatile in the eyes of many thus allowing us, Synergy, to observe and evaluate their advertising factors on a strictly advisory fashion. Considering the standpoint of HLL, we do not consider them entirely at fault. They are pursued to promote their product in a way they thought to be effective i.e. creating a highly probable situation, which is seen quite often at that time where women were discriminated in the workforce, hence the glass-ceiling effect. It is also applicable even today, almost a decade later. The error which they made, from our perspective, would perhaps be the execution of the advertisements altogether via too many details and creating it into a drama rather than an actual textbook advertisement. Considering the current Fair & Lovelys primary commercial, they portrayed a pair of working women who presumably started using the product in the same time but one had a greater whitening effect than the other as she used the product regularly.

Advertisement Specifics Media Type Runtime Message Execution Style Electronic 00:30 Seconds (Rounded up) Slice Of Life

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Fair & Lovely is not only making ads such like this but also of many other partitions of its product because they moved on to segment their Fair & Lovely product line into several homogeneous products to reach a more specified market for fairness which includes, Fair & Lovely Facewash, Fair & Lovely Max Fairness (serves as the male counterpart of the product) and The original product for women which was again divided to serve different functionalities which are, a) Fair & Lovely Multi-Vitamins b) Fair & Lovely Anti-Marks c) Fair & Lovely Forever-Glow d) Fair & Lovely Ayurvedic-Balance We would suggest Fair & Lovely to continue their present promotions as they serve their purpose with the utmost efficiency in the electronic media as well as barring future criticism from taking place. Rather than depicting a situation where women are discriminated, they, in turn, concentrated their promotions on the actual need of potential customers to be fair, leading them to retain their position in their respective market with considerable authority. Fairever In accordance to the Fairevers principal theme being Achievement which was also harbored by Fair & Lovely at a latter period, we, at first, had the impression of Fairever being a bit secluded from the fairness market altogether. Considered The Second Best Product in the market, Fairever did have a bit of a success at first specifically due to their theme of Fairness being absolute rather than Achievement.

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A few critical questions arises if we consider Achievement being a theme for a fairness crme, What does it actually depicts? Do you have to be fair to achieve something? Is fairness really related to your life long goals? So if I use Fairever, would the interview I have tomorrow go smooth? Consider the Fairness of some big shot achievers,

- Barack Obama (Fairness Level Crude Black) - Oprah Winfrey (Fairness Level Shiny Black) - C. K. Prahalad (Fairness Level Crude Brown) - Vijay Govindarajan (Fairness Level Better than C. K. Prahalad but
still unfair material) In short, we do not support the concept of Achievement as a theme for Fairever, rather we were more comfortable when it was just plain Fairness. It should be mentioned that the Achievement promotional theme for Fairever was later altered due to its failure in ascertaining a greater market for the product and preposterous nature in respect to the product. They, instead, heralded the theme of Bolstering Natural Beauty (www.fairever.com/AboutFairever.aspx). In their current theme, they exhibit their product having natural affinity and of a solidly herbal stature which helps women to assume their natural beauty for longer periods by reducing melanin contents from the deep layers of the skin. The change in Fairevers theme nearly guarantees our assumption to be true as achievement is insignificant to promote a fairness crme. So the answer is yes, Synergy would respond in a more affirmative manner to the hypothetical situation of Fairevers promotional theme changing from Achievement to Fairness thus becoming more product specific.
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References:
Cateora & Graham. (2004). Cultural Norms, Fair& Lovely, and Advertising. In International Marketing (12th ed., Supplementary Material 2-2). McGraw-Hill Companies.

Case Analysis Fair & Lovely