Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Marketing, Ethics, Business, Organization, Products, Customers, Actions, Company

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/04

Marketing ethics is one of the important concepts of marketing, which it gives an account of the judging standards that categorize a marketing action as right or wrong. In other words, marketing ethics refers to moral standards applied to marketing decisions. It states the acceptable conduct in marketing defined by various stakeholders, such as the government, public, interest groups and organization . Marketing ethics is an issue of major concern for marketing practitioners as it plays an important role in an organization. It goes beyond legal issues and fosters mutual trust in marketing relationships. It is not only a matter of theoretical concern, but also practical concern. In the 1960s, various marketing journals began talking about marketing ethics and their role in the organization as well as the society. In the recent years, marketing ethics has become a legitimate topic of study in the subject of marketing as it is extremely essential for an organization to survive in the society.
An ethical issue in marketing is an identifiable situation, problem or opportunity, which requires an individual or the organization to choose an action from several actions on the basis of ethical or unethical. The various factors that help in determining ethical decisions in marketing are organizational relationships, individual factors and opportunities . Ethical choices in marketing should involve decisions made by workgroups, committees or discussions among the workers. Organizational pressure plays an important role in the creation of ethical issues in a way similar to opportunities and conditions that limit the barriers. Ethics should become a major component of the marketing planning process. Marketers must be accountable for the consequences of their actions. The decisions, actions and recommendations should satisfy all the stakeholders of the society. Various ethical issues may arise if a marketer takes any wrong step during the planning process.
The best example of this scenario is that of the Napster online firm of the United States. The firm allowed its customers to swap music, which led to the filing of lawsuits by the recording industry for encouraging music piracy. Napster ended up paying millions of dollars for facilitating the exchange of music. However, Napster argued that it could not be responsible for customer’s illegal actions. But the recording industry made the firm liable as it was already aware that its website would facilitate such illegal deeds. The American Marketing Association has generated a code of ethics, which every marketer should follow in their marketing operations . Marketing ethics result in enormous valuable benefits of the society, such as an enhanced public reputation of the company, which increases the market share, profits and cost savings. Moreover, serving an existing customer of the organization reduces the marketing costs.
Marketing ethics help to build trust and customer loyalty, which is a key to long-term success of a business. Marketing ethics is normative in nature as it refers to the ideals and values by which the marketers ought to act. However, one of the most important concerns of marketing ethics is that the criteria applicable for a specific area may not be appropriate for other areas. Today’s marketing ethics encompass a wide range of activities when compared to the past. The influential factors of marketing ethics are top management decisions, corporate ethical values, organizational environment, peer groups, competitiveness in the market and many others . Marketing ethics are important as they help to anticipate and avoid social problems, in cases where most of the laws and regulations come into existence after the negative consequences of actions have already took place.
Unfortunately, not all customers and marketers adhere to ethical standards, which results in marketers’ actions that are inconsistent with the ethical, personal and formal company standards. Majority of companies in the US and Europe follow strict ethical standards in terms of purchasing rather than marketing. It is essential to understand various ethical issues related to the four P’s of marketing, which include price, place, promotion and product. Marketing ethics in terms of pricing includes disengagement in price fixing, disclosure of the full price associated with the purchase and discouraging the practice of predatory pricing . On the other hand, unethical issues include engaging in bogus sale, promoting regular products as luxuries, predatory pricing, cross subsidization of products, introductory discounts for new customers and many others. Marketing ethics in terms of promotion include manipulative sales promotions, false advertising and deceptive sales. An example of ethical issue is the promotion of pharmaceuticals directly to customers without a doctor’s prescription.
Product-related ethical issues arise when marketers do not disclose the risks associated with the products. For example, automobiles receive negative publicity due to issues related to the design and safety of the vehicles. The most common ethical issues arising the in the marketing field are offering gifts to the customers, misleading prices, deceptive advertising, promotion of unsafe products, privacy in marketing research, anti-competitive distribution of products, misrepresentation of products and many others . Unethical marketing practices result in a negative image of the organization and fail to obtain new customers. Lack of congruity between the interests of the organizations and the interests of the customers is one of the frequent sources of conflict in the field of marketing ethics. While corporate interests focus on the economic profitability of the firm, such as increasing sales and profits, consumer interests hope for quality products at appropriate prices .
Unethical marketing practices diminish the possible societal benefits from marketing outputs, such as utilization of income and standard of living. It is the responsibility of the organizations to transform from ‘value for money’ to value-led marketing. Every action in the marketing process from products to advertising should follow ethical standards in order to maintain brand relationships with the public. Ethics aim at recognizing law that fails to answer all questions about what is right and what is wrong . Although law establishes minimal ethics, important ethical judgments are always in the context of legal acceptability. Marketing ethics impacts the practice of marketing if the research does not focus on the challenges and opportunities in this regard. Although organizations promise to deliver sustainable marketing practices, it is necessary to ensure whether or not they follow the ethical standards. Implementing ethical standards in the business operations not only helps an organization in the present, but also enhances its reputation for the future.
It is also the role of the management to reexamine the ethical marketing policies of the organization and take necessary steps when it feels any policy might be detrimental to the long-term interests of the organization. A contingency framework is essential for ethical decision-making in the field of marketing as marketing ethics draws its values from disciplines, such as moral psychology. Marketing ethics allows the marketers to take a multi-staged and cognitive approach. Most of the journals and articles published in the context of marketing ethics have seldom focused on the underlying theory of marketing ethics. The problem arises from competing rights offering shareholders a better return as opposed to the safety of the society . Although various marketers have offered valuable suggestions on the incorporation of ethical standards in marketing practices, only a few organizations have taken such initiative.


Delener, N. (2011). Ethical Issues in International Marketing. Psychology Press.
Frederick, R. (2008). A Companion to Business Ethics. Malden: John Wiley & Sons.
Management, M. C. (2001). Marketing: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management. New York: Taylor & Francis Publications.
Schlegelmilch, B. B. (1998). Marketing Ethics: An International Perspective. Mason: Cengage Learning.
William Pride, F. (2008). Marketing. Mason: Cengage Learning.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 04) Marketing Ethics Essay Sample. Retrieved August 19, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/marketing-ethics-essay-sample/
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"Marketing Ethics Essay Sample." WePapers, Jan 04, 2021. Accessed August 19, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/marketing-ethics-essay-sample/
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Marketing Ethics Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/marketing-ethics-essay-sample/. Published Jan 04, 2021. Accessed August 19, 2022.

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