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NAME: SIKHULILE NHUMBA REG NUMBER: R177819PCOURSE: PSYCHOLOGYMODULE: PSY221LECTURER: DR JAVANGWEQUESTION:EVALUATE THE ETHICAL ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN MARKETING AND ADVERTISING TO VULNERABLE POPULATIONS MOTIVATE YOUR ANSWER WITH ZIMBABWEAN EXAMPLES.DUE DATE:15MARCH 20191938020920750 Ethical marketing and advertising alludes to the procedure by which organizations showcase their merchandise and enterprises by concentrating on how their items benefit clients, yet in addition how they advantage socially mindful or natural causes. To put this another way, moral or ethical advertising is a logic rather than a procedure because it incorporates everything from guaranteeing that commercials are straightforward and dependable, to building solid associations with shoppers through a lot of shared qualities.
Organizations with an attention on moral promoting assess their choices from a business point of view.Ethical advertising and marketing choices as well as endeavors should address and suit the issues of clients, providers, and business colleagues. Exploitative rather unethical conduct, for example,misleading advertising,contacting people without consent,insensitive controversy, and beguiling showcasing can contrarily affect an organization’s connections.
Late patterns demonstrate that purchasers favor ethical organizations.The vulnerable population according to Brenkert are the powerless populace that are defenseless and are prone to harm by others. Obviously, as he calls attention to, we are on the whole defenseless to hurt by others in some degree, however without a doubt we are not all powerless as in is significant to the morals of showcasing. In light of this, Brenkert secludes the “uniquely defenseless” as the pertinent populace. As indicated by Brenkert, the uniquely helpless are portrayed by the accompanying three conditions (pp.
13″ 14).According to him they are physical vulnerabilities such as hypersensitivities or allergies,cognitive vulnerabilities such as infirmity and cognitive immaturity,social vulnerabilities such as poverty among others. To commence with,harm to children is considered an ethical issue because children can be highly impressionable. Advertising of apparel, food, toys, films and music target youth with cartoon characters, trendy catch phrases, and the use of child actors. According to the American Psychological Association, children view more than 40,000 commercials each year. Although commercials can be used to raise awareness over issues such as bullying or drugs, commercials can also be used to make potentially harmful or unhealthy items more enticing.This can allude to the Zimbabwean context as they some certain snacks were packaged using wrestling characters.This was unethical aswrestling is associated with violance,nudity and swearing.This would affect the children morally as they learn through modelling.Thus when marketing and advertising companies should avoid violation of children’s ethical issues.To add on the above selective marketing is an ethical issue to be considered in marketing and advertising.Although marketing to a select niche can be helpful for companies, sometimes marketing communication can become stereotypical and even offensive. Examples of this range from sexism to racism and can often trigger a backlash from a company’s target market. Sexual advertising is often seen as distasteful to women and demeaning to young women’s self-esteem. Stereotyping in marketing can leave people feeling insecure about themselves or a specific classification or minority group with which they are labeled.This applies to Zimbabwean context as some clothing boutiques and restaurants give first preferances to light skinned and skinny ladies.This becomes unethical when these requirements are even stated in job vacancies adverts.Moreso some schools such as Prince Edward High School in Harare Zimbabwe require the parent’s payslip first before admission to the school.This is classification in a way as some parents are self employed and cannot produce payslips but would be capable to pay for their children’s school fees.Target marketing can be an effective strategy which can be used by a business to increase its market share and ultimately its sales revenue. However, this becomes exploitative when the business targets a particular group of customers with harmful or potentially harmful products, offers unreasonably higher prices to the targeted group or offering a low quality product to a target group which is not well informed to make a rational choice regarding the product (Rittenburg & Parthasarathy, 1997).Deceptive marketing practices are also ethical issues to be considered in marketing and advertising to the vulnerable populations. Deception is making the customer believe in the value provided by the product/service which it actually doesn’t provide. It may take the form of misrepresentation or omission of key facts or misleading practices. This may also involve omission of important terms and conditions of sale and bait-and-switch selling techniques in which a product/service is offered usually at a lower price and the customers are then encouraged to buy more expensive items. Selling the potentially hazardous products without disclosing the dangers is also considered as deceptive and unethical marketing practice. There may also be packaging deception which is mislabeling regarding the content, weight, size, or use information of the product.In the contemporary Zimbabwean situation deception is prone to the vulnerable population as some products are fake and are sold assumed to be original.In the business of mobile telephones there are many cases of deception as it is hard for a mere citizen who is not well versed in the feild of mobile phones to descriminate the fake from the original, thus especially the elderly people are taken advantage of and made to believe in buying immitations.Third world countries are also victims of exploitative target marketing. Since literacy levels in many third world countries are low, there exists no perfect information on the usage of some of the products purchased as a result of target marketing. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides sold to third world farmers are examples of the products which lead to exploitation of the consumer due to misinformation. Any potentially harmful effect of a product should be made known to the potential consumers during promotion.Moreso, informed consent is one of the ethical issues to be considered when marketing and advertising.This process involves permission granted in full knowledge of the possible consequences.Often in marketing and advertising many decide not to follow protocol because they risk being rejected permission to market and advertise their goods or comodities.A typical example is that of vendors selling at the University of Zimbabwe with the permission of the University authorities.Thus students in this case are vulnerable as they are exposed to goods which are not authoritised.Also another typical example is that of th Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya who anounced that he had found the cure of HIV and AIDS namely AGUMA’ without the conset of of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), this was was according to the NewsDay of 4 January 2019. Futhermore, fairness and justice are ethical issues to be consdered in marketing and advertisig to vulnerable populations.Unfair pricing is prone to Zimbabwe and mostly affects the vulnerable citizens who lack in resources in this case commuters.In this economy there are no fixed pricing as witnessed through the rapid increase of commuter omnibus fares during late hours.This move is to target the people from work or school who are desperate to find their way home thus they can can even pay double the price because they shun the dangers of travelling late or walking their way to their respective homes.Marketers who create marketing campaigns that are just directed towards children only are engaging in unethical marketing practices. This is because children are naive. They are at a stage of development called proximal development. At this stage, children simply take up elements of what they perceive in the world around them and then use it in various aspects of their lives. There is a certain level of trust that children have over and above than one of adults. They lack the ability to weigh arguments in a sober and even sometimes a cynical way. Consequently, this makes them very vulnerable to exploitation. Murphy et al,(2004)Advertisements to children have sparked off lot of controversy resulting in various reactions in various countries. However, experts agree that unethical marketing occurs when advertisements are directly aimed at children without getting consent from parents. Organisations can go about this issue through regulating their content, changing their times and embarking on a consumer education to make their young audiences aware. Waymack,( 2000)There are certain product categories in which exaggerated claims are commonly made. For example, in the case of skin creams, cosmetics, perfumes, deodorants, toothpaste, mouthwash, and so on, advertisers typically claim or suggest indirectly that their products make the consumer more physically attractive, especially to the opposite sex. The problem is that some consumers may not be sophisticated enough to discern the difference between innocent puffery and claims of effectiveness. Thus, young teenagers have been known to douse themselves with Unilever’s Axe deodorant products in the hope that they will attract females as effectively as is suggested in Axe’s notoriously provocative advertising. Many advertisements for such products come so close to making deceptive appeals that they may trigger attention. As a result, advertisers have learned to be cautious in the precise wording of their claims. For example, advertisements for skin cream may permissibly suggest that the user’s skin will look and feel better after use of the product, but they cannot include text guaranteeing the disappearance of wrinkles.Ethnic minorities are also a group that is usually victim to target marketing Choudhury, (2003). It is exploitative for businesses to develop products which are potentially harmful and target market them to ethnic minorities. Heavy advertising of tobacco products and alcohol with the aim of targeting an ethnic minority can be viewed as exploitation since the long term costs of using such a product are very high to the community. Stephenson (2010) identifies minors as one of the groups that are exploited by many of the target marketing campaigns. Many advertisements are targeted to minors with the intent of influencing their decisions about particular products and ultimately influence purchase decisions towards the product. The ethic of this move is usually questioned because minors are not capable of making informed decisions about a product Rittenburg & Parthasarathy, (1997). This can be identified as exploitation because it takes advantage of minors’ inability to make sound decisions regarding the choice of a particular product based on the available information. Sugar coated cereals and toys are examples of some of the products that exploitatively target minors.The elderly are part of the groups that are exploited by target marketers. Given their usually fixed income and more often than not, health problems, they have become a favorite target to promotions of products that give assurance of good health and affordability Choudhury, (2003). Although it may be argued that the elderly, unlike minors, are capable of making informed decisions, it is still exploitative to continuously bombard them with product promotions aimed at influencing them in making purchases of products which may be not useful to them. Rittenburg and Parthasarathy (2007) recommend that in product promotion, businesses should attempt to provide perfect information to potential consumers. This will ensure that consumers make informed purchase decisions about a product and purchasing decisions based on misinformation will be reduced. Increased regulation on promotions targeting minors should be encouraged Choudhury, (2003). The role of parental guidance in the purchasing decisions of minors should be emphasized. This will work towards ensuring that exploitative target marketing towards minors is reduced. Promotions targeting the elderly and the sick should also be strictly regulated to ensure that the line between acceptable target marketing and exploitative target marketing is not crossed Rittenburg & Parthasarathy, (1997). Further, target marketing of pharmaceuticals which are not over the counter drugs should be done away with and only let physicians have the final say about the prescription drugs administered to patients. Spamming is an ethical issue that violates ethical rights in marketing and marketing.This is when one sends unsolicited emails to potential customers, encouraging them to buy your products or services. This is the commonest unethical marketing practice done online. The number of time you send such emails doesn’t matter. Whether you send them once, or on occasions, or frequently, you remain a spammer.This is done in social media platforms in Zimbabwe such as facebook,whatsapp and instagram among other platforms.In conclusion many ethical issues should be taken into consideratios as they ensure the safety of the population especially the vulnerable.To ensure the safety and the implementation of these ethical issue strict laws and even punishment must be imposed to those who fail to consider the ethical issues when marketing and advertising to avoid harm.REFERENCE LISTBaker, S. M., Gentry, J. L., & Rittenberg, T. L. (2005). Buildingunderstanding of the domain of consumer vulnerability. Journalof Macromarketing, 25 , 128-139.Beder, S. (1998): Marketing to Children, University of Wollongong JournalBrenkert, G. (1998). Marketing and the vulnerable. Business EthicsGaski, J. F. (2001). Normative marketing ethics redux, incorporatinga reply to Smith. Journal of Business Ethics , 32, 19-3Quarterly , Ruffin Series, /, 7-20.
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