As we have noted before (see, for example, 1, 2), marketers are sometimes ethically challenged in their quest to generate more revenues and profits.
Here is an interesting video of 10 ethically questionable marketing practices. NOTE: Some of these tactics are sexually suggestive.
In the current highly competitive global marketplace, marketers face a difficult balancing act. On the one, they must promote their goods or services as superior to other firms’ offerings. On the other hand, if customers become unhappy because they buy something that does not meet their expectations, they may be lost to the overpromising firm forever. What we should do? Here’s one perspective from a company dealing with high-value clients.
As Joshua Hebert (CEO of Magellan Jets) writes for Fortune magazine:
“We know that everyone stumbles, and when that happens, the most important thing to do is minimize the damage and turn the mistakes into a positive. One of our most memorable setbacks was with a private travel customer who wanted us to help out when one of our competitors let her down. This was no small deal — one of the top celebrities in the world had a mechanical issue with her jet, and needed us to get her from London to New York overnight. What we did next wasn’t the best idea: We promised the world. Although we didn’t quite have everything lined up, we said we could make it happen on a moment’s notice. When we put the pieces together for the flight, we found the pilots would have too much time in the air that day. That would violated safety standards, so we had to tell them we could not complete the flight.”
“Here are a few things to keep in mind when big mistakes feel like the end of the world. Don’t delay bad news. If you don’t let people know about an issue, you’re hurting them and potentially creating an even bigger problem. Trust yourself. When you make a mistake and say, ‘Here’s what I’m willing to do to fix it, and here’s what I’m not willing to do,’ it lets people know what’s most important to you. Being honest and only committing to submit high-quality work are examples of standards to stick by, even in tough situations. Institutionalize your lessons. It’s important to prevent mistakes from reoccurring. After the celebrity incident, we added a new flight support element to our team. Now, when “ASAP” trips are booked, we call customers every 15 minutes within a few hours of the flight for updates on their upcoming flight. Even if there is nothing to report, we touch base so there is no miscommunication.”
Click the image to learn about Magellan Jets.
Did you know that there are several instances when women pay more than men for the same goods and services? For example, nationwide, many dry cleaners charge a higher fee for a woman’s “blouse” than a man’s “shirt” — even if the items are exactly the same. This practice has become known as the pink tax. We’re at the end of 2016, and this practice is still in effect.
Consider the following excerpts from a report by Glenn Taylor for Retail TouchPoints,
When Boxed.com lowered the costs of feminine products sold on its site, it brought awareness to the issue of the ‘pink tax’ — the higher prices charged for female-marketed products such as razors, deodorants, and body wash compared to similar marketed-to-male products. But Boxed.com hasn’t been the only brand seeking to raise awareness about the pricing gap.”
“A recent RetailWire article spotlighted the actions of New York City pharmacy Thompson Chemists, which charged a one-day 7% ‘man tax’ in response to the pink tax. Although the drugstore didn’t actually add on a tax for male shoppers, it did give females a 7% discount on all items throughout the store. The 7% discount reflected a study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs indicating that women’s products across a wide range of hygiene categories cost 7% more than men’s products sold in the city. As if this added tax wasn’t enough, feminine hygiene products also fall under the ‘luxury’ tax designation in 39 states, which means a 9% sales tax is charged for items such as pads and tampons.”
“Like many politically sensitive or gender-charged actions, the pharmacy’s tax was met with sharply divided opinions from consumers. While the move was reportedly received well in the store, it resulted in a flood of largely negative comments online as the story went viral.”
Click the image to read more on this topic from Retail TouchPoints.
Yes, we at Evans on Marketing have made a number of posts about about online security, privacy, identity theft, and related issues. We’re not really trying to scare you, but we are trying to get you to be more alert and to protect yourself better online. That’s why we we’ve posted several tips, such as: 1, 2, 3 (a short video quiz), and 4 (video tips).
So, here’s another alert for YOU!! 🙂
Recently, AV-Test, a nonprofit organization that monitors online security, published its latest report. To grasp the highlights of this report more easily, TechRepublic has summarized what it considers to the top four points made by AV-Test:
- “Android is becoming more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats — While the majority of malware deployed in 2015 and 2016 targeted Windows, the most widely-used operating system in the world, Android is increasingly under fire as well. Malware attacks on Android platforms jumped from about 3% in 2015 to nearly 7.5% in 2016. Though it seems like a fairly small percentage jump, it represents an increase of millions of attacks, and marks ‘a significant trend away from Windows and towards Android,’ the report stated.”
- “Mac’s security fortress is just an illusion — Many Apple Mac users believe that the devices cannot be infected with a virus—even those using Macs in the enterprise, the report stated. And compared to Windows, the number of malware programs attacking Apple’s Mac platform is tiny: Just 819 malware threats targeted Macs in 2015. [Due to the small percentage of Macs in the marketplace — which remain at a 7.5 percent market share as of the date of this post.] However, that does not mean that these attacks were not serious. Plus, attackers would not need to program a large number of malware applications to obtain data from Mac users, as they rarely have antivirus solutions installed, the report said.” [Is this YOU?]
- “The rise of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) — A new cyber risk comes in the form of potentially unwanted applications (PUA), which are deployed by the advertising industry to track personal information on user and movement patterns, and to then display personalized advertising without the consent of the user. PUA represented nearly one-third of the online risks in 2015, the report stated, and are steadily increasing.”
- “The top 10 Windows malware of Q1/Q2 2016 — More than 85% of malware attacks occurred on Windows machines in 2015, with that number dropping to 67% in 2016. Some 12 million new Windows malware programs enter the market each month, the report found. Here are the top 10 malware for Windows to keep an eye out for.”
Click here to access the full AV-Test report. Click here to access the TechRepublic synopsis.