Ethical, Regulatory, and Environmental Issues

Ethical Issues in Marketing Communications
‡ Ethics in Marcom 
Involves matters of right and wrong, or moral, conduct moral,

pertaining to any aspect of marketing communications 

Honesty, honor, virtue, integrity


Ethical Conduct 
Lack of consensus about what it is  Ethical lapses and moral indiscretions occur under

pressures of trying to meet business goals and attempting to satisfy the demands of the financial community


Sources of Ethical Issues
Targeting Marcom Advertising Public Relations

Ethical Issues in Marketing Activities and Communications

Packaging Communications Internet Marketing

Sales Promotions


The Ethics of Targeting

‡ Ethical Debate 
Is it ethical to target

products and communications efforts to segments that are vulnerable or put at risk by these actions?

The Ethics of Targeting

Ethical Issues in Targeting Children and Teens

Targeting Food and Beverage Products

Targeting Tobacco and Alcohol Products

Targeting Miscellaneous Products


Targeting to Economically Disadvantaged Consumers

‡ Billboards advertising tobacco and alcohol disproportionately appear in inner-city areas inner-



Ethical Issues in Advertising

Advertising Is Untruthful

Advertising Creates Stereotypes

Advertising Is Manipulative

Criticisms of Advertising

Advertising Persuades People to Buy Things They Do Not Need

Advertising Is Offensive

Advertising Plays on People¶s Fears and Insecurities


Ethical Issues in Public Relations
‡ Publicity 
Involves scatter positive information about a firm and

its products. 
Like advertising²the same ethical issues apply advertising²

‡ Negative Publicity 
When firms confess to product shortcomings and

acknowledge problems or, instead, attempt to cover up the problems


Ethical Issues in Packaging and Branding
Label Information

Packaging Graphics

Packaging and Branding Ethical Issues

Packaging Safety

Environmental Implications

Brand Naming and Brand Name Theft


Ethical Issues in Sales Promotions
‡ Sales Promotions 
Manufacturer promotions directed at wholesalers and

retailers and to consumers

‡ Slotting Allowances 
Manufacturers have to pay retailers to handle a new

product² product²Is this a form of bribery and is it unethical?


Ethical Issues in Online Marketing
‡ Consumer Privacy Issues 
Consumer¶s privacy rights to personal information and

shopping behaviors collected by online marketers 
Security of personal information collected online  Selling of personal information to other parties without

consent of consumer 
Bogus positive product evaluations and blogs


Fostering Ethical Marketing Communications

The Golden Rule

Act in a way that you would want others to act toward you

The Professional Ethics Test

Take only actions that would be viewed as proper by an objective panel of your professional colleagues

The TV test

Would l feel comfortable explaining this action on television to the general public?´


Regulation of Marketing Communications
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI(ASCI (1985) has adopted a Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising. Self‡ It stands for the protection of the legitimate interests of consumers and all concerned with advertising - advertisers, media, advertising agencies and others who help in the creation or placement of advertisements
‡ Fewer false, misleading claims ‡ Fewer unfair advertisements ‡ Increasing respectability




Under Socities Registration Act, 1860 in Bombay.


Environmental Marketing Communications
‡ Legitimate Green Marketing 
Is a firm¶s introduction of environmentally oriented

products and its undertaking of marcom programs to promote them 
Seeks to accomplish two objectives: 

Improve environmental quality Satisfy customers


Green Advertising Presenting an Image of Environmental Responsibility


Green Advertising Promoting a Green Lifestyle


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