It seems the public has come to accept this trend towards deteriorating ethics in marketing. Casual discussions generally suggest some degree of anger and that this is just the way it is. Wise consumers are becoming much more suspicious and are exercising caution when considering purchases. Those that don't proceed carefully may pay for an unexpected unpleasant experience.
Ethics: principles, moral values, conscience.
How widespread are questionable or unethical business practices?
Very! Here are a few generalities covering some wide areas of deceptive marketing and disappointing products and services.
- Marketing to kids: morally wrong yet progresses creatively and vigorously.
- Selling unhealthy foods which are cheaper to produce and more profitable.
- Fine print advertisements and contracts that are too hard to understand.
- Inferior product quality that is often just no good but marketed aggressively.
- Sub-contracting production to hide unethical use of cheap or inhumane labor.
- Merchandising environmentally unfriendly, wasteful or useless products.
- Junk mail, spam, telemarketing - annoying, excessive, costly advertising.
- Trick labels require careful study word by word to get the true facts, maybe.
- Trick ads that make you think you're getting something you aren't getting.
- Store sales displays catch you at the checkout with the unexpected regular price.
- Shock entertainment and commercials sell, but soil social standards.
- Credit enticements and payments gouging.
We got problems. Big serious long-term problems with commerce and society, and government.
Exacerbating the continual spread of greed in retailing is the fact that there are too many enterprises competing for the same overextended consumers' purchasing desires. And which corporations want to lose market share? Each works questionably harder to increase those consumer desires and generate more sales.
There is also the passivity of consumers. We just don't take the time to complain and seldom discuss our gripes with one another. Nor do we resist the commercial persuasions and opt for a wiser and happier social life style.
And then there are our governments, they don't seem to care, perhaps because there are too many business interests governing government.
So what to do about the deterioration of business ethics?
We need to think more about what's happening, talk it up with others, and read about the facts and solutions. It's important that we send comments and letters to businesses, associations, government officials and talk to people like ourselves. We may have gone too far in the wrong direction but we can do something for the newest generation, in education and by example.
Democracy - Yes! Free enterprise - not this way!
Other posts on ethics
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Grampa Ken - Author of 32 Keys About Life - and blogger for change at Social-Fix.