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The Ethics of Marketing -- the Use of Sex, Alcohol, and Children

In: Business and Management

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The Ethics of Marketing
The Use of Alcohol, Sex, and Children

Business Ethics

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as, the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. ( This practice dates back to the 1450’s when the Gutenberg invented the first movable type, which allowed mass printing to be possible for the first time. Marketing and advertising has since evolved from magazines, to billboards, radio, television, telemarketing, print ads, and now with the digital age booming, has become a hyper competitive industry where companies will do just about anything to attract a customer. Doing “just about anything” is where marketers and advertisers operate on a very thin line as to what is considered ethical. This strategy now includes tactics such as the use of alcohol, sex, and the targeting of children to attract consumers. Companies use the power of beer advertisements at college sporting events, sexually explicit advertisements in venues viewed by children and teenagers, and use the developing minds of small children as targets in the advertising of certain products. While these strategies may be legal, they are not always ethical. In this paper, I will challenge the use of content, tactics, perception, and target audience, while applying ethical tests and theories regarding a company’s marketing strategies. A company must have ethical marketing policies to guide their pricing, advertising, research, and competitive strategies. ( My analysis will determine if the aforementioned strategies follow this standard code of ethics.

Does Alcohol hit its Target?
Since there is a standard drinking age in the United States of 21…...

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