Annotated Bibliography: Marketing Ethics
Ethics in Market Research:
(2007). Ethical norms and values for marketers. Retrieved April 21, 2007, from American Marketing Association Web site: http://www.marketingpower.com/content435.php
The American Marketing Association offers norms and values for market research. Among the important values are to do no harm, foster trust in market research, and to embrace the values that will foster trust in the marketing research system. Not only are these good guidelines for any market research professional, but the website offers everything a professional might need to become an ethical market researcher and to network with other such professionals.
Zoll, M.H. (2000 Apr 5). Selling to kids. Retrieved April 21, 2007, from MediaChannel.org Web site: http://www.mediachannel.org/originals/kidsell.shtml
Media Channel is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ethical marketing values. This particular page concerns the importance of conducting thorough market research when marketing products to children. Child psychologists are concerned with parental responsibility when it comes to choosing products that their children will use. This site is a good resource for market research professionals who may have the opportunity to deal with children and their special needs.
(2007). Professional standards. Retrieved April 21, 2007, from Market, Social and Opinion Research Web site: http://www.mrs.org.uk/mrindustry/index.htm
MRS, based in England, is a full-service market research company. Among its other attributes is an entire section dedicated to a code of conduct that should apply to all market researchers. Though this company is located in another country, they offer a detailed list of standards to which every market researcher should aspire. This is a good website for the up-and-coming market researcher.
Ethics in Targeting/Positioning
(2007). Ethics and marketing and pricing resources. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from BNet Web site: http://search.bnet.com/search/ethics+and+marketing+and+pricing.html
BNet offers a wide variety of articles concerned with marketing ethics. Among these articles, they offer suggestions on how to maintain a code of ethics when one is positioning a product. This website is valuable as a reference to ensure that a marketer does not engage in hostile behavior.
Gurowitz, H.M. (2007). Positioning accurately. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from The CEO Refresher Web site: http://www.refresher.com/!gurowitz.html
This website is exactly as advertised: a refresher course for those who may not have had to conduct hands-on marketing work for a while. The website offers brief articles on all aspects of marketing, including the ethics involved in positioning one’s product. The website emphasizes the importance of truth in advertising and importance of being part of the marketing system rather than trying to dominate it. While Gurowitz recommends strategies out of The Art Of War, he suggests that a marketer stick to his code of ethics at all times. This is a great website for anyone who is new to marketing, or who has been out of the loop for a while. His explanations are offered in easy-to-understand language and include contact information for those who may need further explanations.
(2007). Ethics and Morals. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Marketing Profs.com Web site: http://www.marketingprofs.com/ea/qst_question.asp?qstID=1966
The Marketing Professionals website offers a forum in which marketing experts are given an opportunity to answer various questions concerning the practice of marketing. One such question involved ethics, and which groups to whom they would not target a product. Not only does this forum provide valuable information for marketing professionals, but it gives different points of view on the same subject. This website is a valuable resource because it allows marketing professionals to view their profession from every angle.
Ethics in Promotion
(2007). DMA guidelines. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Direct Marketing Association Web site: http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/
This website offers a variety of information on ethics. Not only do they offer guidelines for ethical marketing practices, but they provide case information for companies who have violated the code of ethics. This is a valuable resource not only for marketing professionals who wish to stay within the boundaries of fair play and good taste, but also for anyone who wants to find out which companies have practiced unfair or unethical business practices in promoting their products.
(2006). Business ethics. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from DuctTape Marketing Web site: http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/article/categories/Business-Ethics/
This article focuses on the ethics involved in small businesses. When running a small business, clients are more likely to be late on payments, and the article advises not punishing them by giving them an inferior-quality promotional strategy. In addition, the article gives a list of marketer’s rights as well as customer’s rights. The point of the article is to offer ethical solutions to everyday problems from the standpoint of the marketing executive.
(2007). Code of ethics. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Promotion Marketing Association Web site: http://www.pmalink.org/about/default.asp?p=ethics
This article is a simple list of the PMA’s code of ethics as it pertains to promotions, but it is a code of ethics that every marketing professional should follow. Not only does it advise following federal and state laws, but it suggests such important values as truthful disclosure, avoiding coercive promotional tactics, avoiding conflicts of interest, and completing one’s contracts and obligations. This article provides a simple but all-encompassing list of values that every marketing executive should follow in order to run an ethical business.
Ethics in Pricing
Akin, J. (2005 Sep 1). Disaster ethics 1: price gouging. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Jimmy Akin.org Web site: http://www.jimmyakin.org/2005/09/price_gouging.html
Jimmy Akin is an unlikely resource in the subject of pricing ethics. Dressed in a cowboy hat and t-shirt, he looks like the last person one would go to in order to discuss marketing issues. However, Akin offers good advice and warnings in regards to price gouging during a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. This article is a good resource not only for consumers who need to beware of such tactics, but also for professionals involved in setting prices. While it may seem like a good idea to raise prices in light of supply and demand, Akin demonstrates the difference between price adjusting and price gouging.
Freeman, R. (2004 Oct). Dynamic pricing — ethics. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Dynamic Pricing Constraints Web site: http://www.managingchange.com/dynamic/ethics.htm
Freeman discusses the phenomenon known as ‘Winner’s Curse’ when the high bidder for an item realizes that he or she spent too much. He reviews some of the pricing strategies that have been implemented for popular products over the years, such as the Sony Playstation, which was offered in many stores at inflated prices during the Christmas rush to purchase the product. He notes that the Playstation was available in many stores for the suggested retail price. His article is an advisory on the dangers of price gouging during a popular item supply and demand crisis. This article is a great review for those who might be tempted to raise their prices during the holiday season.
Cooper, A. (2007). Identifying the true authenticity behind the cost. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Ethical Pricing Web site: http://www.ethicalpricing.info/home.htm
This website offers a great deal of information on pricing tactics. For example, it provides examples of high price and low price tactics along with variable tactics. All of the tactics used as examples are completely unethical – these are good examples of what not to do for marketing professionals. The site emphasizes that individuals tend to mix norms with ethics – a good lesson for those who tend to “go with the flow”.
Ethics in Distribution
Quilici, L. (1998). Dialogue on business ethics. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Santa Clara University Web site: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v9n2/business.html
Quilici’s article on distribution ethics focuses on the tendency of companies to distribute questionable products. This is a matter of concern with companies that sell consumables, because a bad product can lead to illness and death. Quilici uses Nutritional Foods as an example of how to navigate one’s way through a distribution crisis – when an inferior product has been distributed and it is simply too late to take it off the market. The article offers valuable information on how to deal with the crisis ethically and morally.
Low, W. (2005). The ethics of marketing fair trade in the medium. Retrieved April 21, 2007, from Ingenta Connect Web site: http://www.perdo.nccu.edu.tw/harvard/en/02/product01.aspx?ppno=62204
The article discusses the concept of fair trade as products move through distribution channels. It emphasizes the difference between simply participating in the concept of fair trade and actually working toward promoting fair trade internationally, leading by example. By combining the interests of the producers, consumers and retailers, this article teaches marketing professionals how to turn their businesses into a “values-driven” organization.
(2005). MAANZ marketing code of ethics. Retrieved April 21, 2007, from The Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand Web site: Low, W. (2005). The ethics of marketing fair trade in the medium. Retrieved April 22, 2007, from Ingenta Connect Web site: http://www.perdo.nccu.edu.tw/harvard/en/02/product01.aspx?ppno=62204
This article discusses the values of MAANZ in regard to distribution of products. While it introduces its own code of ethics which appears to be standard in the industry (do no hard, employ fair trade practices), it also offers distribution-specific guidelines such as avoiding conflicts of interests and maintaining a fee schedule. It suggests that one not manipulate the availability of a product, nor using coercion in the marketing channel. This article is a good example of proper practices to use within the marketing industry in general and product distribution in particular.