Marketing is EVIL! Ethics to me seem like common sense, but clearly not because there are so many people out there doing what many perceive to be the wrong thing and this definitely applies to the world of marketing. In the pursuit of sales and success organisations employ skilful marketers to infiltrate the minds of consumers and persuade or even brainwash them into buying their product or service (sounds scary and I might be exaggerating a little but stay with me). It has been said by *some critics that some marketers attempt to “create needs and manipulate consumers into buying goods that they do not need” for example the pleasurable, and social aspects of drinking and gambling are often glorified and promoted as socially acceptable while the reality of their addictiveness and negative health effects are downplayed if not altogether ignored. EVIL I TELL YOU, EVIL! And that’s just the start of it there are many examples of this in Australia;
-Like the advertising of alcohol & gambling during sporting events; this is something that should’ve been abolished years ago in my opinion and yes it has been restricted somewhat but harsher laws could help to alleviate the drinking culture that exists (although that isn’t profitable now is it). HEAPS of kids tune in to idolise their favourite sports stars who are sporting beer sponsors on their jerseys it makes me wonder why we ever stopped at restricting tobacco advertisements!?!?!
-Speaking of children many advertisers market to kids directly. They don’t have the cognitive skills to fully understand the value of products and the associated health risks. Why is it that the products, more specifically foods and beverages most damaging to children’s health are the ones that seem to be advertised most frequently? (If you guessed money you are correct!). Now I don’t think that marketing to children will stop anytime soon but I’d like to challenge any marketers out there to break the trend. -But perhaps the most ingenious of all of the techniques would be the fear campaigns preying on the everyday hypochondriac, convincing people that they are sick and have to buy a certain medicine/health product like come on give us a break! It is important to note however that fear campaigns can be used effectively to send an important message to consumers on topics such as drink driving, so it all really comes down to the values of the organisation and the marketing teams involved.
It is my hope that by highlighting the unethical ways that marketers try to influence consumer behaviour, companies and marketers will re-evaluate their aggressive tactics to give bargaining power back to the consumers. Now excuse me while I jump back on to my moral high horse and ride away. *Only some, not all
Worthington, S, 2014, Telesian Technology Inc., Worcester, USA, viewed 14/05/2015 http://blog.telesian.com/how-many-advertisements-do-we-see-each-day/
Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A, Carlson, J, 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th Edition, Pearson Australia, Australia, p102-103.