Ethical issue or dilemma in marketing communications

This is a paper that focuses on the ethical issue or dilemma in marketing communications. The paper also identifies the stakeholders and dimensions of each party’s stake.

Ethical issue or dilemma in marketing communications

To demonstrate professional-level ability to:
conduct complex secondary-source research;
identify and describe a significant case involving an ethical issue or dilemma in some area of marketing communications;
Also, identify stakeholders and describe the dimensions of each party’s “stake”;
apply a framework/list of criteria based on sound ethical principles to allow discussion/evaluation of alternatives and/or the behavior of various parties;
draw well-supported conclusions regarding the ethical issue or dilemma;
make recommendations for practitioners.

Skills emphasized:
research, problem identification, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, synthesis.

This project generally involves the selection of a case that exemplifies questionable ethical practice in regard to marketing communications.

The case to focus on advertising, promotions, personal selling, direct marketing, public relations or any other area of activity that can be described as “marketing communications”.  Typical “issues” include:  false or misleading advertising,
the exploitation of vulnerable segments, the promotion of “harmful” products, and the depiction of persons from racial and ethnic minority groups.

Cases can be drawn from all arenas of business and industry, as well as from politics;  they may pertain to a single instance, or to a series of events or a pattern of behavior.

A positive example or model for behavior may also be chosen, but working with such an example can present a significant challenge.  It seems, for many students, to be easier
to write persuasively and also at length when the case chosen illustrates an offense against
an ethical code or ideal.

Written Report

The written report should include the following:
1.  Firstly, a detailed discussion of the case in regard to the ethical dimension (s).

2.  Secondly, an identification of each individual stakeholder or group of stakeholders.

3.  Thirdly, a framework or list of criteria on which to base conclusions regarding the behavior(s) of the parties involved in the case.

4.  Fourthly, a discussion of the impact of the behavior(s) on the major stakeholders.

5.  Lastly, a discussion of the implications of the case for practitioners in the field;  a list of specific recommendations may be offered as well.

This report must be at least 10 pages in length, excluding cover page, any full-page
figures or graphics, and addenda.  The APA (American Psychological Association)
Manual is to be followed for format and documentation.

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