False Claims Through Advertising

Discussion #1
False Claims Through Advertising
This week is focused on marketing, brand protection, food protection, agribusiness and obesity. With these hyper-sensitive topics comes many ads and cures to rescue those with health concerns. For this ethical dilemma, you are legal counsel for Deceptive Markets, Inc. Using the articles listed under “False Claims to Making One Healthier, Richer, Younger – illegal” argue to marketing vice president why it is ‘ethical’ to continue to publish suggestive and potentially harmful ads. Remember, you must answer from the ethical lens and leverage ALL reading from the first five weeks.

Response #1 CORUN
One might think that it is not “ethical” to continue to publish suggestive and potentially harmful ads. If we are changing the working in the advertisements to create buzz and what people want to hear then how can it be harmful? If there are no “legal” ramifications such a those brought on by companies claiming their products do something or show pictures that are not true. If Deceptive Markets, Inc does not claim to cure an alignment or claim that a particular cream is anti-aging by creating buzz words then it would be ethical to continue to publish because that is what the public wants to hear. If we look at consequentialism, the company is focusing on the results of what you do so if making a false claim using buzz words such as luminous or diminishes the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles, or photodamage. The product may or may not do those things but if Deceptive Market Inc. using creative wording then it will stay under the Federal Trade Commission’s watchful eye. A companies product and how it is branded or its reputation such as Allergan which also owns Loreal a skincare company. If a woman is concerned about anti-aging they may be more inclined to purchase a drugstore product from Loreal because the reputation Allergan has whether or not the product works because of brand recognition (The Business Ethics Workshop (2012) Washington, DC: The Saylor Foundation). If we are giving information advertising those facts will persuade consumers to purchase one product over another. If we look at Derm Intensives by Loreal, they are claiming they created the product which was validated with Dermatologists. The product Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum(Derm Intensives 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum by L’Oréal Paris 2019, September 29) can validate their claims with their partnership with dermatologists even if those doctors are ones that work with the company and are paid to falsify the claims. This product contains Hylauronic acid which if you look up is naturally present in the body and it holds 1000 times its weight in water so the description of the product from Loreal states that it enhances skin’s own moisture is a fact but may or may not work but they aren’t necessarily being completely honest.

Allergan: A Bold, Global Pharmaceutical Company. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.allergan.com/
Derm Intensives 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum by L’Oréal Paris. (2019, September 29). Retrieved from https://www.lorealparisusa.com/products/skin-care/products/facial-moisturizers/revitalift-derm-intensives-pure-hyaluronic-acid-serum/?shade=revitalift-derm-intensives-pure-hyaluronic-acid-serum

The Business Ethics. (n.d.). Chapter 12: The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection. Retrieved from https://learn.umuc.edu/d2l/le/content/418686/viewContent/16081958/View
Wischhover, C. (2018, September 11). The beauty industry is still selling “anti-aging” as a concept. It’s just changed the vocabulary. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/11/17840984/skin-care-anti-aging-drunk-elephant

Discussion #2
Baby Needs a New Crib
An on-line retailer, Make Me Smile’s CEO Mary, sells home and children’s items, such as children’s furniture, clothing, and toys, was seeking a way to reach a new audience and stop the declining sales and revenue trends it was suffering. A market research firm hired by the retailer, Questionable Research Firm, LLC., identified a new but potentially risky market: lower-income single parents. The new market seemed attractive because of the large number of single parents, but most of these households were severely constrained in terms of their monetary resources.
The Questionable Research Firm, LLC. proposed that Mary’ company should offer a generous credit policy that would allow consumers to purchase up to $500 worth of merchandise on credit without a credit check, provided they signed up for direct payment of their credit account from a checking account. Because these were high-risk consumers, the credit accounts would carry extremely high interest rates. Questionable Research Firm, LLC. believed that even with losses, enough accounts would be paid off to make the venture extremely profitable for the on-line retailer.
Should Mary’s company pursue this new marketing strategy? Why or why not and support with at least two ethical theories supporting the position and two, which could disprove the argument.
Response #2 CORUN2
If Mary’s company is struggling she should pursue this marketing strategy although it is targeting a market that is already high risk. She is taking a chance that they could claim bankruptcy or close that checking account out in which she may not receive her money. Mary should be cautious as to how she will receive her money even with losses. The decision for Mary to do this supports a monetized utilitarianism attempt to measure happiness, she is doing it to make money and to help people that are less fortunate even though they may be the ones who suffer in the end. Mary may be judged for making the decision that would benefit her more than the lower-income consumers. She is also in a state of desperation but also giving customers what they need and desire, every parent wants their child to be safe and have nice things and a crib is an important item for safety. Mary could also be portraying ethical egoism in which the action serves her interest but is also is morally the right action (The Business Ethics Workshop Ch. 12, pg 115 2012) She is helping but she is also maximizing her own happiness.

(The Business Ethics Workshop (2012) Washington, DC: The Saylor Foundation).

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