Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Marketing, Ethics, Customers, Business, Products, Consciousness, Advertising, Law

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/12/09


The marketing activities mostly penetrate and influence both the actions and lives of people and organizations in elusive ways. Consequently, this makes it hard to pinpoint the overall impact or contributions successfully on the people who are indirectly or directly touched by these activities. In fact, marketing has mostly been accused of engaging in the practices, which involve invasion of privacy, dishonesty, exploitation of vulnerable consumers and children, creating unsafe products, and manipulation. Promotion and advertising activities have been accused of lacking an acceptable and clear code of conduct. Ideally, these activities can be said to be brain-washing catalysts that aim to manipulate the buyers into believing that the product that is advertised is the best for them without caring whether they need such products.
The marketers ought to address the necessary ethical principles and guidelines when marketing their products. The paper tries to get a clear understanding of the concept of manipulative marketing better. Specifically, the paper delves into the ethical concerns of manipulative marketing. The paper first elucidates the concepts of manipulative marketing to get a clear understanding of what it entails before explaining these ethical concerns,. The paper then describes the potential resolutions to the ethical dilemma caused by the manipulative marketing.

Concept of manipulative marketing

The crucial goal of all forms of advertising is essentially to persuade the buyers to buy a service of product. It is the social responsibility of the advertising activities to inform the consumers of the several available choices and instruct them about product superiority by presenting the solid facts concerning the product characteristics. The buyers can freely make decisions for themselves regarding the products to buy and those to avoid. For this reason, the marketers ought to be more responsive to the needs of the community in some areas of concern. For one, some of the advertising activities are said to be environmental pollutants hence individuals resent these activities as they are too much to absorb. In essence, these activities pollute the mental environment since they are too manipulative and too interfering in the personal lives of the consumers. In addition, the issues of morals in marketing require the marketers to be more responsive to the needs of the community. Some forms of advertising might turn out to be a burden on the buyers (Sher, 2011). In fact, these forms of marketing might be misleading, offensive, and annoying.
The manipulative aspect of marketing is a socially detrimental aspect as it makes the consumers buy the products that they should not need, or they do not need (Sher, 2011). The manipulative marketing intends to make the consumers purchase the things they do not require by using arguments, facts, and playing with the emotions of the buyers in a deceptive and misleading way. Ideally, the most claims that the marketers utilize in the manipulative marketing are the fallacious arguments, exaggeration of the product quality, and emotional appeals. Regarding the use of fallacious arguments, the marketers use reasoning errors when making, showing, or conveying messages to the buyers. In exaggerating the quality of a product, the marketers provide false information about their products. The emotional appeals play with the emotions of the purchaser at both unconscious and conscious levels.

Ethics and the welfare of the consumer

The meaning of ethics depends on the context in which it is used. For instance, Business ethics entails studying the business decisions, activities, and situations where the subjects of wrong and right are addressed. On the other hand, ethics in marketing is a decision, which would protect or advantage the buyers and marketing channel members. Consequently, ethics deals with the choice of wrong and right and must protect and benefit people. Marketing Ethics is the principles, ideals, and values by which the marketing institutions and marketers are supposed to act. For this reason, values, ideals, and principles are the core of marketing ethics, implying that marketing ethics is a normative ethics (Jamnik, 2011). In fact, marketing ethics tells the marketing institutions and marketers how they should act morally.
The normative ethical theories are crucial when it comes to marketing because they prescribe what marketers should do. In normative marketing ethics, the values such as freedom, truth, justice, and well-being are used in criticizing marketing for several ethical failures (Jamnik, 2011). Manipulative marketing has failed to safeguard the values of freedom, truth, justice, and well-being. Regarding the value of truth, manipulative marketing have been attacked for misleading the customers through dishonesty. In addition, the marketers use some methods of promotion that coerce or pressure the ordinary and vulnerable consumers hence they fail to value the freedom of choice (Jamnik, 2011). In fact, the morally unscrupulous manipulative marketers do not value the freedom of choice of the young, the grieving, and the elderly when they manipulate them to purchase what they do not understand or need. The technological developments have turned out to be a threat to the consumers’ freedom. As a result, many people have raised the normative ethical questions regarding the amount and nature of information, which can be acquired in the present day through internet purchasing.
The manipulative marketers partially capture the well-being of the consumers when they use manipulative means to advertise some products such as tobacco and liquor that are considered unsafe. Additionally, the manipulative marketers are condemned for encouraging the buyers to acquire new products that make them go into debt. Regarding the value of justice, the manipulative marketers have been condemned for using some forms of marketing that involves some forms of exploitation.

Potential resolutions to the ethical dilemma

The issue of manipulative marketing brings out the debate on the role that ethics plays. The marketing ethics deals with the question of what extent the marketing practices, decisions, and behavior fit the principles and rules of good conduct. Although it is hard to prove many of the manipulative marketing activities, it is crucial to look for the resolutions to prevent the constant exploitation of the consumers through manipulative activities. The marketing practices should have a set of ethical practices, which could help the marketing managers to assess the moral importance of every action and agree how far they can go to remain acting ethically. There are numerous difficulties that one might face when trying to counteract manipulative advertisements used by the marketers. Thus, the standards and values to which individuals should appeal in marketing have to be formulated. In essence, there should be normative guidelines for the marketing managers to follow in resolving the moral disputes and investigating the marketing activities. What’s more, the normative ethics must guide the marketers in identifying the moral reasoning methods and moral principles, which justify judgments and rules of what is wrong and right (Jamnik, 2011).
In the areas where both the marketers and consumers find mutual interests and goals, some resolutions should be used to help in resolving manipulative marketing. For one, there ought to be consciousness in both business and consumption as this ensures that there is conscious marketing (Danciu, 2014). The consumer is said to be conscious when he/she demonstrates a mix of answerable behaviors in terms of environmental, social, sustainability, and economic concerns. In fact, a conscious consumer is an ethical customer since he/she demonstrates consumer activism characters that are accomplished through positive buying that favors ethical products and advertising. On the other hand, businesses can effectively communicate and build relationships with conscious business, implying that it will be aware of both its outside and inner world.
It is worth noting that the consumer is the most vital component of the outside world of a business as it has a great impact on the realization of goals and interests by a business. In other words, such a business gains its consciousness, meaning that it can adapt to its environment as well as act accordingly to promote its goals and interests in a non-manipulative manner. For the marketer to be successful in creating conscious marketing, he/she ought to well figure out the conscious consumer. Conscious consumers are driven by a number of values that include honesty, health and safety, doing well, relationships, and convenience (Danciu, 2014). The conscious consumers expect the marketers to be honest in marketing. The marketer’s failure to be honest breeds distrust and cynicism. For this reason, the marketers should understand all the values that drive conscious buyers when creating marketing messages.
The natural trends for manipulation through marketing can further be resolved in other areas. For one, there is a need for more ethical behavior of the marketing. On the other hand, the consumers can improve the marketing quality and reduce manipulation proportions through marketing. In addition, there should be better marketing cooperation between the consumers and the marketers. For this reason, the marketers should include the buyers in their marketing solutions to improve their cooperation in marketing. In essence, the buyers ought to become the marketers’ partners so as to facilitate the creation of non-manipulative marketing and contribute to the making of value for them (Danciu, 2014). What’s more, there ought to be more pre-emptive self-regulation in the marketing to facilitate the resolution of to the ethical dilemma of manipulative marketing. The marketing industry should establish more proactive self-regulatory systems to help in resolving the problem of manipulative marketing. The proactive regulations have more benefits one of them being protecting the buyers from the marketing that mislead them. The proactive self-regulations would considerably decrease the potentially deceptive claims since such regulations act decisively and quickly misleading against the deceptive advertising claims.
Ethical relativism and globalization might have impacts on the described resolutions to the ethical dilemma. The ethical relativism assumes that if something is true for a certain individual, then it should be true for all the people. Ethical relativism might affect the efforts toward resolving the ethical dilemma caused by manipulative marketing. For this reason, there is a need for the marketers to differentiate carefully between what the consumers consider to be right and what is right. In addition, the world has become a global information society that is characterized by increasing complexity, interdependency, and interconnectivity. For this reason, the diversity in culture, social norms, and ethics will influence the understanding of manipulative marketing and its resolution. Thus, globalization can affect manipulative marketing depending on the way people interact, their cultural differences, and the benefits to be gained.


Danciu, V. (2014). Manipulative marketing: persuasion and manipulation of the consumer through advertising. Theoretical and Applied Economics, 18(2 (591)), 19-34.
Jamnik, A. (2011). The question of ethical decision in marketing and ethics.Cultura económica, (80), 41-53.
Sher, S. (2011): A Framework for Assessing Immorally Manipulative Marketing Tactics, Journal of Business Ethics, 102:97-118

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, December, 09) Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
"Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?." WePapers, 09 Dec. 2020, Accessed 23 July 2024.
WePapers. 2020. Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?., viewed July 23 2024, <>
WePapers. Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed July 23, 2024]. Available from:
"Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?." WePapers, Dec 09, 2020. Accessed July 23, 2024.
WePapers. 2020. "Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved July 23, 2024. (
"Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?," Free Essay Examples -, 09-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 23-Jul-2024].
Sample Essay On Should We Ban Manipulative Marketing?. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 09, 2020. Accessed July 23, 2024.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now