Ethical Legal And Social Issues In Marketing Essay


Marketing Plan Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Marketing

It is crucial to consider ethical, legal, and social issues when making marketing decisions. Considering these issues is even more important in the context of international marketing. In the international context, considerations are made to not only the domestic market, but also the foreign market. This section highlights the ethical, legal, and social issues affecting the marketing of laundry detergents in the U.S. (the domestic market) and the UK (the foreign market).

Ethical issues basically relate to the moral principles that govern marketing (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2009). Major ethical issues in marketing include consumer safety, personal autonomy, stereotyping, market exclusion, selective marketing, pricing ethics, deceptive advertising, negative advertising, sexuality, and so forth. Two important ethical considerations in the marketing of laundry detergents relate to consumer safety and deceptive advertising. As laundry detergents are made of chemical compounds, hazardous ingredients and additives can pose a risk to the health of consumers.

It would be unethical to market detergents that are hazardous to consumers through deception or obfuscation. Deceptive advertising entails making exaggerated claims about the effectiveness of the detergent in terms of removing stains in an effort to trick customers into buying the detergent. This is not an uncommon practice. It will be important to avoid misleading marketing messages. Taking into consideration consumer safety and advertising ethics is particularly important in both the U.S. and the UK. In the two markets, adherence to marketing ethics is critical. Indeed, ignoring ethical issues can result in negative brand image, consumer boycotts, and expensive lawsuits.



Indeed, ethical and legal issues are significantly intertwined. Marketing practices are considerably governed by the law (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2009). In addition to consumer safety and advertising, the legalities address issues encompassing privacy, intellectual property, distribution, competition, direct marketing, packaging and labelling, pricing, and environmental protection, among other issues. All these have important implications for marketing. For instance, as data collection comprises a significant aspect of marketing, marketers must gather data in accordance to the relevant information privacy guidelines. Both the U.S. and the UK have stringent requirements governing data privacy, which every business organisation that collects and holds customer data. In both countries, regulations also prohibit the use of phosphates in laundry detergents and other domestic products, and recommend the use of biodegradable ingredients in all detergents. Further, the marketing of laundry detergents must comply with laws relating to intellectual property. It is illegal to use the names, trademarks, and copyrights of other firms in marketing. It will also be important to avoid anti-competitive pricing and ensure proper packaging and labelling. Ignoring these issues would make the organisation vulnerable in both the domestic and the international market.
Business operations are affected by not only ethical and legal issues, but also social issues. Social issues relate to consumer demographics, tastes and preferences, attitudes and perceptions, consumption patterns, cultural factors, and other such factors (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2009). These issues have important implications for the marketing mix. They influence product attributes, pricing decisions, delivery channels,…

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The importance of monitoring marketing performance is critical to evaluate and control the effect of the activity in reaching its desired outcomes. This entails determining the extent to which the formulated marketing objectives are achieved. In this case, the objectives include increasing awareness of the brand in the U.S. and UK markets, expanding the customer base, and raising brand loyalty in the next three years. Accordingly, marketing performance ought to be evaluated on the basis of these aspects. After the three years: What will be the level of brand awareness? How many customers will the organisation have? How many of those customers will be loyal or repeat customers? What will be level of customer satisfaction? Answering these questions will project the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the marketing initiative. As the achievement of the above objectives is tied to the bottom line, marketing performance can also be monitored by tracking changes in sales performance. Increased sales would be an indication of the effectiveness of the marketing initiative. Though the strategic objectives are to be achieved within three years, it is important to note that monitoring marketing performance is an ongoing process. Rather than waiting for the end of the three years, the tracking should be broken down into shorter periods, for example quarterly and annually.


Lamb, C., Hair, J., & McDaniel, C. (2009). Essentials of marketing. 6th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.

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