Good Ethics In Marketing Research Paper Example
A look at the rivalry between Amazon and Target reveals quite a number of ethical issues especially with P&G’s fueling role. First and foremost, ethical issues that guide the supply chain and the suppliers themselves have been infringed. First, the supplier, who is P&G, treated one of the retailers (Amazon) with more precision compared to Target. Allowing Amazon to ship its products directly to consumers through its warehouses and moving products from other retailers such as Target’s to less prominent spaces in the stores was an unwelcomed move that was condemned by other retailers. The supply chain should be fairly conducted to meet all the demands of retailers without any possible inequality in how products from different retailers are treated in the supply stores (Klein, 2008). Target’s actions including the elimination of the tag ‘category captain' from some of P&G’s brands was aimed at simply boosting the sales volumes of other retailers’ products (Bowman, 2015). In essence, working directly with some retailers to boost their products is a violation of the procedures that guide the conduct of the supply chain. The reaction by firms such as Target proves that P&G’s move was indeed unscrupulous and disreputable.
Notably, the relation between suppliers and retailers is a sensitive one. The idea of boosting some products and leaving others in the ‘darkness’ was hence, unsolicited. Furthermore, another ethical issue worth a consideration is the pricing aspect characterizing the rivalry between Target and Amazon. For instance, Target lowered its online order shipping cost to $25 which greatly undercut Amazon’s $35 shipping cost (Bowman, 2015). Cutting shipping costs by such a large margin is an unprecedented move that is specifically disadvantageous to the other player. Although it could boost sales for Target, it is not encouraged and allowed in the corporate world. Prices are normally regulated on a balanced standard scoreboard that suits all the players in the industry (Klein, 2008). Thus, Target’s actions can be seen as unethical.
In this situation, Target could have considered other options before deciding to punish P&G. Incepting strategies which are aimed at hurting sales volumes and profit margins do not promote fair competition (Bowman, 2015). In fact, the actions are wrong corporate wise and encourage rivalry that is detrimental to the whole industry. Target could have considered a simple move to re-establish their relation with P&G through contracts and corporate agreements that guide the supplier-retailer relationship. Suppliers are flexible and work with a range of retailers. Therefore, working to promote the products of other suppliers in order to hurt the sales of other suppliers does not only create a bad business environment, but, also affects the sense of fair competition (Klein, 2008). Furthermore, Target should have considered simply seeking the services of another supplier rather than acting to favor them to the disadvantage of P&G.
P&G, on the other hand, was not right in partnering with Amazon over Target. In the supply chain, fairness and equality prevail as the guiding principles that ensure retailers have a free and fair ground to compete on. Favoritism could eventually lead in a situation where the relationship with other suppliers could be compromised. Furthermore, suppliers should always work to encourage the spirit of competition and not necessarily to participate in the competition through any unscrupulous means such as favoritism (Klein, 2008). Rather than allow Amazon to operate within its warehouses and reach out to consumers directly, P&G should have allowed the other retailers the same chance or all the same, not allow Amazon. The reaction by other retailers owing to P&G’s actions proves that the move was unethical and meant to boost Amazon’s sales over the other firms. In essence, disallowing Amazon and allowing all the other retailers the same chance to operate within its warehouse would have seen P&G out of the rivalry equation. In fact, its actions fuelled the rivalry to an extent that competition between the players was unfair such that Target ended up losing while Amazon and P&G walked away victorious.
Bowman, J., (2015). P&G Gets Caught in Rivalry between Amazon and Target. Retrieved from <www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/03/06/pg-gets-caught-in-rivalry-between-amazon-and-target.aspx> Accessed on 1st April, 2015.
Klein, R. L., (2008). The Economics of Supply and Demand. University of California: Joy Hopkins University Press