ACC 406 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Water Scarcity, Consumerism, Tim Hortons
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Chapter 18: Ethics and Socially Responsible Marketing
The scope of marketing ethics:
Business ethics: refers to a branch of ethical study that examines ethical rules and
principles within a commercial context, the various moral or ethical problems that
might arise in a business setting, and any special duties or obligations that apply to
people engaged in commerce
Marketing ethics: refers to those ethical problems that are specific to the domain of
Ethical Issues associated with marketing decisions:
People in marketing interact directly with the public
In a recent survey, it was found that more than two-thirds of Canadians pay attention
to issues related to corporate ethics and social responsibility and that three-quarters of
Canadian firms are actively engaged in key corporate social responsibility activities
Many customers remain highly skeptical of marketing
As many marketing executives correctly believe, creating an ethical climate that
establishes the health and well being of consumers as the firm’s number one priority
makes good business sense.
Creating an Ethical Climate in the Workplace:
Ethical climate: the set of values within a marketing firm, or in the marketing
division of any firm, that guides decision-making and behavior.
General Robert Wood Johnson wrote and published the first “Credo” for Johnson &
Johnson (J&J) in 1943- a one page document outlining the firms commitments and
responsibilities to its various stakeholders.
The generally accepted code in marketing, developed by the Canadian Marketing
Association, flows from general norms of conduct to specific values to which
marketers should aspire
Each subarea within marketing, such as marketing research, advertising, pricing and
so forth, has its own code of ethics that deals with the specific issues that arise when
conducting business in those areas.
The influence of Personal Ethics:
oWhy People Act Unethically: Every individual is a product of his or her culture,
upbringing, genes and various other influences- In spite of these factors, however
people do continue to grow emotionally in their understanding of what is and is not
- Corporate scandals have many people asking 2 simple questions: 1) what makes
people take actions that create so much harm? 2) Are all individuals who engaged
in that behavior just plain immoral or unethical?
- In making marketing decisions, managers are often faced with the dilemma btw
doing what is beneficial for them and possibly the firm in the short run, and doing
what is right and beneficial for the firm and society in the long run.
- To avoid ethical consequences, the long-term goals of the firm must be aligned
with the short-term goals of each individual within the firm.
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