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Ethical Marketing Essay

Ethical market under the moral obligations of any business entity requires a business to market their product in such a way that it appeals to basic customer needs and goes further to appeal to the acceptable social norms and virtues. These are especially important for any thriving society in the sense that they bring a social environment that can accommodate a large diversity of people which in turn interprets to good market. This means that ethical advertising is not just mere public relation policy but rather an enduring philosophy. From a deeper analysis this requires a business entity to develop an honest and reliable relationship with their clientele arising from common values that work to sustain the overall business relationship all through how the business advertises its products and services. Companies today that abide to these principles analyze their decision making models in a manner responsive to whether the advertisement will yield the desired returns by effectively reaching the desired target audience. Secondly, whether the decision model adopted is morally abiding to the requirements of the ethical advertising.

Unethical advertising

Having stated the above, it is plausible to understand the business mentality of advertisement. In any business entity, advertising is one of the main departments that determine the overall productivity of the firm. For a desperate business entity the management will tend to overlook some certain obligations in a desperate attempt to improve sales. Other case scenarios, the management may see unethical marketing appealing to a certain target market and as such take a strategic risk to gunner profits to unprecedented levels. The most common is advertisement aimed at the youth and the unsophisticated population appealing to their taste in things that are not essentially in their best interest. In our modern society liberalized markets have created a very competitive market making businesses adopt an unorthodox ways of advertising that violate principles of ethical marketing.

Examples of ads with questionable marketing ethics

McDonald’s case study

“Spice your ads up with a pinch of emotions and they’ll buy it” this is a marketing phrase that is very intuitive and safe in a legal sense. McDonald’s however took it to the extremes with their emotional model of advertising. The highly de bated ad is commonly referred to as the dead dad ad. It features a boy who is in a life quest of seeking the things that he has in common with his dead father. At first in his innocence naivety, he looks for the basic things such as eye color, music taste, shyness around girls but none of this match their personalities. At last the boy and his mom arrive at the Golden Arches restaurant where he orders a Filet O Fish which coincidentally was his father’s favorite meal.

The guiding principle in ethical advertising is appealing to the emotions of the masses. It is a proven principle that emotions make good sales if strategically used in advertising. The society may be on an advancement and modernization rampage but it is the basic principles of a civilized society that state that grief should not be used for commercial or personal gain. McDonalds might as well mock their avid customers with emotional advertising that is predatorily manipulative.

Adidas Case Study

Another company that has experienced the effects of word choice gone wrong is Adidas. Back in 2017, the company was the leading ambassadors of footwear and no one could question their efforts to rise so fast. Later in April the same year, the sportswear giants released a newsletter that soon became a decision gone wrong in marketing. The newsletter contained a congratulatory message for runners for completing the Boston Marathon. In part, the ad statement read, “Congratulations! You survived the Boston Marathon.” At first there is nothing strange about this statement but when you look deeper you will be able to relate to the tragic events of 2013. That means that the wording is poor and a cliché that reminds potential customers of bad memories.

From the precedent, it is clear that ethical issues are critical and should form part of the marketing communication decisions. Companies should be weary of promotion and advertising as these are the most prone areas for actions that may lead to highly visible and damaging ads on ethical grounds. A god company should practice ethical marketing because this will consequently lead to business prosperity on the long run.



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