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Module 3 Notes

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Ryerson University
MKT 100
Paul Finlayson

Module 3: Social Responsibility Section 1: Code of Ethics • Canadian Marketing Association created good code of ethics that people turn to • Emphasizes honesty and truthfulness in communicating with consumers • Also avoidance of immoral and exploitive practices Company Codes of Ethics in Practice • Stated in general terms, leaving specific interpretation to the individual salesperson or marketing executive • Misconduct: conduct becomes public of cutting ethical corners • Lots of stress of marketers about ethics • Eg, some senior executives make junior take the blame • Whistleblowers often have their careers ended; they are branded trouble makers or fortune seekers by the company and too hot to be hired by another company • Greatly undermines motivation and respect for senior executives • Subordinates are responsible for their own behaviour, even if following orders or under the threat of dismissal • Advertising accountable for honesty of messages • Ethical behaviour in trading, both buyer and seller behave ethically • Passing responsibility in writing back up to senior executives seen as weakness • Disloyal setting up the boss by creating a paper or email trial weakness • Mentor in organization invaluable • Ethics Ombudsman: someone hearing; someone who can help them with their quandary, take up the concern, and protect them from any negative repercussions Highlights of the Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics • CMA’s must agree to code every year www.notesolution.com • Member organization has a designated Voting Member who must sing the compliance clause on their membership application and annual renewal • Marketing communications clear and truthful • Marketing must not knowingly make a representation to a consumer or business that would be misleading • Marketers must not participate in campaigns that would be exploitive, so mean to people of race, colour, ethnicity, gender, etc. • Marketers must not exploit sex, horror mutilation, violence and hate, etc except where it is required by law, such as a common carrier • Markets much not exploit lack of knowledge of any consumer • Vulnerable Consumer: includes but is not limited to children, teenagers, people with disabilities, the elderly, and those for whom English or French is not their first language • Marketers take specific differences when marketing to children. Children not adults • Marketing to teens, must not imply impression that possession of a product will make owner superior, or without it would have ridicule. Don’t use the peer pressure thingy • Must not represent product • Photos, artwork, type size, colour, style, etc must accurately and fairly describe the product or service offered • Ensure general impression of communication has no omission or commission • Test and survey data must be accurate, can’t be scientific if it’s not true • Not engage in marketing communications in the guise of one purpose when the intent is a different purpose • Not mislead that marketing is news, information, public service, etc when purpose is to sell or to seek donations to causes or charities • Avoid undercover work of mouth marketing initiatives, when they encourage consumer or business to believe that the marketer’s agents are acting independently and without compensation when they are not www.notesolution.com • Communications that have genuine bills, invoices or gov’t docs must not be used • ‘reg price’ ‘ suggested retail value’ etc must accurately reflect • Don’t degrade competitors • Guarantee must identify name and address of the guarantor and duration of such guarantee, guarantee must be honoured • Marketers must not do voice or text messages unless the customers said they can • Not send emails without the consent of person, except where there is an existing business relationship Section 2: A Personal Ethics Checklist • Suffer a lapse of ethics when they have to make a quick decision because they are preoccupied with other concerns • Ethical vigilance: in practice, asking hard questions, paying constant attention to whether one’s actions are right or wrong, and wrong, why is behaviour in that manner • Don’t avoid answers, confront excuses • Ethical vigilance, recognition of two codes of ethics: o The set we espouse and want others to apply in their behaviour towards us o The code of ethics that, for whatever rationalizations, we actually live by • Questions can be looked at for the basis for a team’s or individual’s mental model for looking at an ethical issue with a proposed goal, strategy program or tactic o Address the application of a double standard and the basis for such a double standard o Address the extent to which marketers ply the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you • See personal ethics conduct chart in module 3 section 2. Sections 3: Understanding Market Ethics • Diff civilizations have moral codes that attempt to keep culture www.notesolution.com • Enlightenment of civilization based on underlying ethics • When ethical codes break, they society collapses from within • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, needs moral codes in society to function • Social Contract: If you want to be a part of society, you have to obey rules • Diff cultures, diff ethical rules The Most Good For the Most Number of People: The Utility Principle • Bentham and Mill • Ethical behaviour is the behaviour that produces the greatest good, the most good for the most people in a specific situation • Called Utility Principle • Sounds good but hard to apply • Smith: argued pursuing your own economic self-interest over the interest of others promotes overall good • Utility principle can be twisted: If we’re good, we’ll go out of business • More likely that company is in crisis, more likely they will stoop to ethical lows • Behaving unethically, ends justify the mean The Categorical Imperative • Kant’s famous categorical imperative: proposed action would be right if everyone did it • Tradegy of Common Effect: “what if everyone did it” issue • Eg of sheep. A few sheep grazed on a pasture, but then when everyone grazed on a pasture, the pasture died • Explains how resources are scarce and must be thought about • Ex in marketing terms, Advertising Puffery: the use of exaggerated claims , lying • If only a few do it, then it doesn’t seem as bad, but when a lot of people do it, advertising loses integrity www.notesolution.com • Another example, is when people want to erect trade barriers, if all countries did this, then it wouldn’t help global trade • Categorical imperative takes most of the situation or context out of the ethical evaluation and is more explicit than the utilitarian principle • Situational Ethics: when right and wrong are determined by the specific situation and not by the universal moral principles based on the harm if everyone did it • Also, “do unto others what you would have them unto yourself” • Has flaw, still needs a basic moral ethic • If people don’t care, then they wouldn’t be able to see the universal wrong The Source of our Ethics • Children learn decency and morality from parents and adults • Teachers, coaches, etc • If children miss lessons, then it’s said too late to teach the basic ethics of honest, decency and consideration • Dominant religion has a lot of influence on the behaviour of people in society • In a free society, a believer of another religion may apply his or her religious ethics to all situations • Observe greater variability in ethical practices • Leads to greater uncertainty in the market and uncertainty decreases the efficiency
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