No, it is not ethical to target uninformed consumers. The increasing competition among business organizations prompts companies to develop various marketing strategies for their products to win more customers and maximize their profits. This move has, however, raised debates on whether trying to win unconsented consumers is ethical as some scholars have supported the practice while others have objected to it; citing reasons argued out in the following section.
Consumers have the right to be wary of the nature and quality of goods being offered to them in the market (Buehler and Florian 494). Companies should create a chance and avenues to convey rightful information to their clients, especially by use of the modern and highly vibrant mainstream and social media communication platforms. The media technology presents modern consumers in a position to make a purchase decision, hence, targeting consumers who lack absolute knowledge of a product amounts to unethical business practices. Uninformed consumers may purchase products that are either harmful or fail to meet their expectations.
Targeting uninformed consumers could affect their cultural inclinations (Buehler and Florian 494). Marketing and targeting consumers should ensure that it does not intrigue into their beliefs about certain products. For instance, selling pork products to Saudi consumers or Muslim believers amounts to an intrusion into their religious and cultural beliefs about pork consumption. Ensuring that targeted clients are properly informed of the type of product being sold in the market ensures consumer ethics are adhered to by the respective business.
However, targeting uninformed consumers can also be an educative experience (Buehler and Florian 495). It is a common practice for companies to use random advertising to identify the needs of a particular target market. This serves as an effective channel for introducing products to new consumer segments and increases the consumer base for the business. Consumers get to learn more benefits of using new products being introduced in the market without their consent. Targeting uninformed consumers is ethical because it increases competition and improves product quality for consumers.
All in all, targeting uninformed consumers is generally unethical because consumers are protected by the law and granted the right to know the quality of goods availed to them. When uninformed, products may compromise their legal rights and beliefs. Business organizations, should, therefore, struggle to remain ethical enough while undertaking marketing practices to meet the thresholds of ethical business practices.
Buehler, Benno, and Florian Schuett. “Certification and minimum quality standards when
some consumers are uninformed.” European Economic Review 70 (2014): 493-511.