Advertising Ethics, Consumer Protection, and Social Responsibility

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Advertising Ethics, Consumer Protection, and Social Responsibility

Reading

Brusseau, J. (2012). Business Ethics. New York, NY: 2012 Book Archive Project.

  • Chapter 6: Employee’s Ethics: Getting a Job, Getting a Promotion, Leaving
  • Chapter 7: Employee’s Ethics: Making the Best of the Job You Have as You Get from 9 to 5

ASSIGNMENTS:

For this PART 1:

Please read the case study entitled “Casinos and Crime” that you find in the reading assignment.

Based on what you have learned in this unit, answer the following questions:

1. In most casino states and counties, laws protect owners from liability claims arising from problems caused by gambling. In ethical terms, however, if you’re the sole proprietor of the casino, do you feel any responsibility for this episode? Why or why not? If you feel any responsibility, to whom would it be? What could you do to set things right?

2. You’re an equal partner in a nonprofit organization that runs the casino to support the cause of building schools for children in impoverished sections of Peru. You spend a few months every year down there building schools and giving free English-language classes. In ethical terms (and regardless of what the law allows), do you believe anyone involved in this episode should be able to sue you personally for their suffering? Why or why not?

3. Say that the casino under discussion in this set of questions is the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which is owned by a large, public corporation. You have five shares of stock inherited a few years ago when a relative died. You are legally protected from liability claims. In ethical terms, however, do you believe that anyone involved in this episode should be able to sue you personally—or just plain blame you—for their suffering? Why or why not?

4. Pigouvian taxes (named after economist Arthur Pigou, a pioneer in the theory of externalities) attempt to correct externalities—and so formalize a corporate social responsibility—by levying a tax equal to the costs of the externality to society. The casino, in other words, that causes crime and other problems costing society, say, $1 million should pay a $1 million tax. In terms of casinos, would such a tax more or less satisfy any ethical claim that could be made against them for the social problems they cause? Why or why not?

Please write an essay of complete and well composed paragraphs (250 word minimum for the entire essay) Be sure to use in text citation and provide references for your sources. Wikipedia is not a source.

For this PART 2:

Please read the case study entitled Hot Coffee that you find in the reading assignment.

Based on what you have learned in this unit, answer the following questions:

  1. What does caveat emptor mean? According to this doctrine, who is responsible for Stella Liebeck’s burns? Explain.
  2. Does the fact that she’s seventy-nine years old make it more difficult to justify a caveat emptor attitude in this case?
  3. One aspect of the caveat emptor doctrine is that it maximizes respect for the consumer as an independent and autonomous decider. Could that be a reason for affirming that a seventy-nine-year-old is a better candidate than most for a caveat emptor ethics of consumption?
  4. In general terms, what does it mean to claim that an implicit contract arises around a transaction? How does that contract protect the consumer?

Submit a paper that is well constructed using APA format. The paper should be a minimum of one typewritten page (approximately 300 to 400 words) with an introduction and conclusion. This paper shall demonstrate use of standard written English with respect to: organization, grammar, spelling, composition, sentence structure, punctuation, and construction.

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Advertising Ethics, Consumer Protection, and Social Responsibility Reading Brusseau, J. (2012). Business Ethics. New York, NY: 2012 Book Archive Project. • • Chapter 6: Employee’s Ethics: Getting a Job, Getting a Promotion, Leaving Chapter 7: Employee’s Ethics: Making the Best of the Job You Have as You Get from 9 to 5 ASSIGNMENTS: For this PART 1: Please read the case study entitled “Casinos and Crime” that you find in the reading assignment. Based on what you have learned in this unit, answer the following questions: 1. In most casino states and counties, laws protect owners from liability claims arising from problems caused by gambling. In ethical terms, however, if you’re the sole proprietor of the casino, do you feel any responsibility for this episode? Why or why not? If you feel any responsibility, to whom would it be? What could you do to set things right? 2. You’re an equal partner in a nonprofit organization that runs the casino to support the cause of building schools for children in impoverished sections of Peru. You spend a few months every year down there building schools and giving free English-language classes. In ethical terms (and regardless of what the law allows), do you believe anyone involved in this episode should be able to sue you personally for their suffering? Why or why not? 3. Say that the casino under discussion in this set of questions is the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which is owned by a large, public corporation. You have five shares of stock inherited a few years ago when a relative died. You are legally protected from liability claims. In ethical terms, however, do you believe that anyone involved in this episode should be able to sue you personally—or just plain blame you—for their suffering? Why or why not? 4. Pigouvian taxes (named after economist Arthur Pigou, a pioneer in the theory of externalities) attempt to correct externalities—and so formalize a corporate social responsibility—by levying a tax equal to the costs of the externality to society. The casino, in other words, that causes crime and other problems costing society, say, $1 million should pay a $1 million tax. In terms of casinos, would such a tax more or less satisfy any ethical claim that could be made against them for the social problems they cause? Why or why not? Please write an essay of complete and well composed paragraphs (250 word minimum for the entire essay) Be sure to use in text citation and provide references for your sources. Wikipedia is not a source. For this PART 2: Please read the case study entitled Hot Coffee that you find in the reading assignment. Based on what you have learned in this unit, answer the following questions: 1. What does caveat emptor mean? According to this doctrine, who is responsible for Stella Liebeck’s burns? Explain. 2. Does the fact that she’s seventy-nine years old make it more difficult to justify a caveat emptor attitude in this case? 3. One aspect of the caveat emptor doctrine is that it maximizes respect for the consumer as an independent and autonomous decider. Could that be a reason for affirming that a seventy-nine-year-old is a better candidate than most for a caveat emptor ethics of consumption? 4. In general terms, what does it mean to claim that an implicit contract arises around a transaction? How does that contract protect the consumer? Submit a paper that is well constructed using APA format. The paper should be a minimum of one typewritten page (approximately 300 to 400 words) with an introduction and conclusion. This paper shall demonstrate use of standard written English with respect to: organization, grammar, spelling, composition, sentence structure, punctuation, and construction. Chapter 11 The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola). The next year the Food and Drug Act defined caffeine as “habit forming” and “deleterious,” and required that the substance be listed on Coke’s label. 11.5 Case Studies 587 Chapter 11 The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work QUESTIONS 1. An accounting office manager stumbles on a warehouse full of the original, cocaine Coca-Cola. ◦ Make the case that he has a responsibility to provide the bottles to his workers and encourage them to drink the liquid down. What benefits could the manager hope to receive? Why does the manager hold a professional responsibility to achieve those benefits? ◦ Make the case that the manager has a responsibility to provide bottles of both the original (now illegal) formula and today’s formula to staff members, and allow them to choose to drink either one, both, or neither. ◦ Make the case that he has a responsibility to provide bottles of only today’s formula to staff members, and allow them to drink it or not. ◦ Make the case that, ethically, he should tolerate no Coca-Cola of any kind in the workplace. 2. In a web posting, mmafan, from Dayton, Ohio, writes about his experience working for the Coca-Cola company: “We even had someone witness a merchandiser, on the clock, in uniform, and in a company vehicle, smoking a joint in a store parking lot. Not only did the union prevent Coke from terminating or disciplining him, they protected him from submitting to a drug test. So Coke had to just let it go. All the union did was protect the lazy, the incompetent, and the screw-ups if you ask me.”mmafan, comment on Isgchas, “It sounds like working for Coke is bad all over the country. Does anybody work for a union shop? Is that any better?,” Indeed, accessed June 1, 2011, http://www.indeed.com/forum/cmp/Coca--Cola/get-job-atCoca-Cola/t10481/p2. In response, the union could mount a number of arguments to defend their decision to not let Coke administer a drug test. The most frequently cited ethical reasons to refuse drug tests are the following: ◦ To protect the right to privacy ◦ To protect the right to freedom 11.5 Case Studies 588 Chapter 11 The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work ◦ Because of slippery slope concerns ◦ Because of imperfect testing Which of these kinds of arguments would best support the union’s decision to protect the employee from a drug test? What would the argument look like? 3. Mmafan believes the union did nothing more than “protect the lazy, the incompetent, and the screw-ups.” This complaint is actually the root of a powerful and thoughtful ethical argument in favor of drug testing because drug-free workplaces maximize employee performance. Fill out the argument: ◦ Whose obligations are served by drug tests? ◦ What are those obligations? ◦ Name an ethical theory that forcefully supports the use of drug testing in the workplace. What’s the reasoning? 4. The Coca-Cola company’s history is laced with cocaine. ◦ Given the fact that cocaine was a key ingredient in getting the Coca-Cola Company off the ground, does that organization have any right to preclude the use of drugs in the workplace or anywhere else? Why or why not? ◦ When Coke included coke, the substance was legal, and a respected medicine. Should that fact affect your answer to the previous question? Why or why not? 11.5 Case Studies 589 Chapter 11 The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work Acid Rock Source: Photo courtesy of Paige Powers, http://www.flickr.com/ photos/paigggeyy/5533236567/. Ultimate-Guitar.com is a guitar and rock site. One of its articles begins this way: “Of the many articles in Ultimate Guitar which deal with the history of musicians in this day of modern music, there is one participant who seems missing. The history of this participant is responsible for influencing a huge range of artists, possibly second to none.”Kalakala, “LSD and 60’s Music: What We Owe to It. Part 1,” Ultimate-Guitar.com, August 12, 2006, accessed June 1, 2011, http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/junkyard/ lsd_and_60s_music_what_we_owe_to_it_part_1.html. The participant is LSD. Without that, the column affirms, there’d be no Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Doors, Beatles, or Pink Floyd. At least not as we now know them. The article covers a lot of ground, but the basic point is that taking the illegal drug LSD helped these guys become great musicians. In the comments section, many people responded. 11.5 Case Studies 590 Chapter 11 The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work QUESTIONS 1. ATL_420 writes, “I don’t know about y’all, but I have recorded music while tripping on acid. I was the most talented I have ever been on guitar during those hours.” Assume you are the manager of ATL_420’s band. Convince yourself that you have an ethical duty to make sure he’s got all the LSD he needs when he’s in the recording studio. Make the case, in other words, that you should be an enabler. 2. Strat_Monkey says, “I’m going to go with what I’ve heard from several drug-using musicians which is basically: Yes, Drugs CAN open your mind and allow you to make better music, BUT if you take too many you will f*ck yourself up good and proper. Moderation is the key here.” How would someone who subscribes to a utilitarian ethics (the greatest good for the greatest number should be sought) define the term moderation? What kinds of fears would this ethicist have about allowing Strat_Monkey to use LSD? 3. Ramco addresses this to the article’s author: If this article causes even one person to try LSD then you are a monster. LSD is a fungus that degenerates the brain stem, and continues to remain in the brain for years, causing “acid flashbacks” at unexpected and inopportune times. With the exception of heroin, LSD has the worst long-term effects of any drug. Also, LSD has given us some of the WORST music ever. There are plenty of drug-inspired songs that only appeal to those on drugs. I am disappointed in UG for approving this article which is nothing but an advertisement for LSD, which is not only dangerous but also illegal. 11.5 Case Studies 591 Chapter 11 The Aroused Office: Sex and Drugs at Work Use two distinct ethical theories to develop two independent arguments that the article’s author is a monster. 4. Assume that both sides of this argument have some hold on the truth. In some cases LSD really did help musicians produce excellent music, but the effects of LSD use are also extremely harmful. How do you decide where to draw the line? How much social harm are you willing to tolerate for some good music? Justify. 5. One way for music company executives to manage the fact that some of their acts use a lot of drugs is with complicity—that is, adopting a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Even though drug use wouldn’t be encouraged, it wouldn’t be tested for either. What are some of the ethical advantages to this approach? What are some of the disadvantages? 6. In the comments section of the Ultimate-Guitar.com article, kosarsosar adds this about a hallucinogenic drug: “It didnt do much for me, however it did make my girlfriend run around the house flapping her arms like a bird.” Ethically, is there anything wrong with taking a drug that does that to you? If so, what? If not, why not? 11.5 Case Studies 592 Chapter 12 The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection Chapter Overview Chapter 12 "The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection" considers the ethics of selling by examining advertising, and the ethics of buying by examining conceptions of the consumer. 593 Chapter 12 The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection 12.1 Two Kinds of Advertising LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Define and characterize informational advertising. 2. Define and characterize branding advertising. Old Spice One reason guys like to have the controller when couples are watching TV is so they can flip the channel fast when ads like this come on: Viewed from the waist up, you see a perfectly bodied man wrapped in a low-slung towel. With gleaming eyes locked on the camera he intones, “Hello, ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me.” While guys at home cringe, he comes to an indisputable conclusion, “Sadly, he isn’t me.” After letting the reality sink in, he soothes his female viewers with the information that “He could at least smell like me if he switched to Old Spice body wash.” Next, he asks us to “Look down,” and while everyone’s eyes drop to his towel, some green screen magic allows him to seamlessly appear on a romantic sailboat in the Caribbean. His hand overflows with diamonds, then a bottle of Old Spice arises along with them, and we learn that, “Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice.” Video Clip Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (click to see video) Advertising is about enticing consumers. It comes in many forms, but the two central strategies are (1) informational and (2) branding. Ads: Information and Branding There are more and less sophisticated ways of enticing consumers. At the lowest level, there are product-touting ads and comparisons giving straight information. When Old Spice set aside some money to sell their body wash, they could have gone 594 Chapter 12 The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection that route, they could’ve dabbed some product on a shirt and asked random women to stop, take a sniff, and report on the scent. Then magazine spreads could be produced announcing that “three out of four women like the Old Spice scent!” A bit more aggressively, women could be given a blind sniff test featuring Old Spice and Axe products, or Old Spice and some “leading brand,” one probably chosen because it fares particularly poorly in the comparison test. In any of its forms, this is informational advertising1. It presents facts and hopes that reasonable consumers buying body wash will choose Old Spice. Other kinds of informational advertising include price comparisons (Old Spice costs less than Axe) and quality comparisons (the Old Spice scent lingers eight hours after showering, and Axe is gone after only six). Naturally, different kinds of products will lend themselves to different kinds of factual and informational claims. Sometimes, finally, this kind of advertising is called transactional2 because it’s directly about the exchange of money for a good or service. Moving toward more sophisticated—or at least less rational and direct—advertising, there’s branding, which is the attempt to convert a product into a brand. In the advertising and marketing world, the word brand has a very specific meaning. It’s not the name of the company making the product, not the words Old Spice or Kleenex. Instead, a brand3 is a product or company’s reputation; it’s what you think of when you hear the name and it’s the feelings (good or bad) accompanying the name. Technically, a brand is what a product or company is left with when you take everything away. Exemplifying this in the case of Old Spice, imagine that tomorrow all their production factories burn down, their warehouses flood, and their merchandise sells out at every store. Basically, the company has nothing left, no factories to make product, no stock to ship out, and no items left to sell on any shelf. Now, if you were a wealthy investor, would you buy this company that has nothing? You might. 1. Commercials and advertisements presenting facts to influence consumers. 2. Advertising directly about the exchange of money for a good or service. You might because it still has its brand, it still has a reputation in people’s minds, and that can be worth quite a bit. Frequently, when we visit a store and stand in front of shelves packed with different versions of a single kind of item, we don’t have time or the patience to carefully go through and compare price per ounce or to Tweet questions to friends about what they recommend. We choose one body wash—or one style of underwear or Eveready batteries instead of Duracell—because of an idea about that product planted in our mind. Maybe we don’t know exactly where the idea came from, or exactly what it is, but it’s there and guides us to one choice instead of another. It makes a product seem like it’s our kind of product (if it’s the one we end up buying) or not our kind of product. 3. In the field of marketing, the consumer disposition toward a specific good or service. 12.1 Two Kinds of Advertising 595 Chapter 12 The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection The Old Spice commercial is an exercise in branding. It’s funny, sexy, embarrassing, and extremely sophisticated. Looking at the commercial, the first question to ask is “in the most literal terms, what’s the message?” Is it that Old Spice is a good value? No, there’s no talk about price. Is it that Old Spice smells good? No, the only claim is that it can make you smell like an attractive actor. Is it that the actor (and former pro football player) Isaiah Mustafa uses Old Spice? No, he says he does, but that’s not the message. If anything, his message to potential consumers is that, if he wanted to, he could steal their girlfriends. This is not the kind of information that wins market share. Fortunately for Old Spice, branding isn’t about facts or truths; it’s about producing an attitude and connecting with a specific sense of humor and outlook on life. Like a style of clothes or a preference for a certain kind of music, Old Spice is conveying a personality that you appreciate and like or, just as easily, dislike. That’s why the whole commercial comes off as a kind of joke about a certain vision of attraction and romance and sex. Do you enjoy the joke? If you don’t, then Old Spice is going to have to find a different way to get into your (or your boyfriend’s) wallet. If you do like it, if the whole thing seems zany and funny and you wouldn’t mind pulling it up on YouTube to watch again, then you’ve been branded. Old Spice has found a way to get past all the defenses we usually set up when we see advertising, all the skepticism and cynicism, and gotten us to feel like we’re part of something that includes that company’s products. In broad strokes, finally, there are two kinds of advertising, two strategies for influencing consumption choices. One works by appealing to facts and provides information; the other appeals to emotions and creates a lifestyle. Both kinds of advertising raise ethical questions. 1. Informational ads provoke questions about truth and lies. 2. Branding efforts provoke questions about the relation between our products and who we are as individuals and a culture. KEY TAKEAWAYS • Informational advertising employs facts to persuade consumers. • Branding advertising attempts to attach a personality and reputation to a product. 12.1 Two Kinds of Advertising 596 Chapter 12 The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Can you think of an example of an informational ad? What information is provided, and how does it persuade consumers? 2. Can you think of an example of a branding ad? What personality and attitude are attached to the product? How might those characteristics persuade consumers? 12.1 Two Kinds of Advertising 597 Chapter 12 The Selling Office: Advertising and Consumer Protection 12.2 Do Ads Need to Tell the Truth? LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Delineate different types and degrees of deceitful advertising. 2. Discuss legal and regulatory responses to deceitful advertising. 3. Map the ethical issues surrounding deceptive ads. Types of Deceitful Advertising An initial way to distinguish informational advertising from branding is by asking whether consumers are supposed to ask whether the claims are true. In the case of the Old Spice body wash TV spot, there’s no question. The actor asserts that “anything is possible with Old Spice” as diamonds flow magically ...
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ProfessorEmily
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Advertising Ethics, Consumer Protection, and Social Responsibility
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ADVERTISING ETHICS, CONSUMER PROTECTION, AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 2
Part 1:
In his book, Business Ethics, Brusseau refers to sole proprietorship that if the business is
an extension of you, then you are on the hook for whatever it does (Brusseau, 2012). According
to this description, the owner should take responsibility for the increased crime in the county by
helping address the problem. The sole proprietor should help in educating the community about
the morality of gambling since businesses that cause problems in society should participate in
finding a solution to those problems. Brusseau also postulates an externality argument that
requires businesses to pay a tax (Brusseau, 2012). In economics, an externality refers to the cost
of goods or services that are not accounted for in the price. Because the costs of crime were not
considered when the casino was established, the sole proprietor should pay this cost to offset the
financial consequence of gamb...

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