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Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?

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Abstract:

Target marketing is both common place and necessary for the success of any public relations or advertising campaign. Yet, these campaigns can raise ethical dilemmas, especially in regards to the marketing of harmful products and the targeting of vulnerable consumers. This paper identifies aspects of target marketing that can be ethically questionable, including the method of persuasion, the nature of the product and the target. Differences among marketing, advertising and public relations are discussed to determine whether one of these communication tools produces more potential for ethical dilemmas then the others. Also, the role of the product, paying special attention to sin products, is examined as well as the perceived vulnerability of the target audience. Finally, the present research provides a foundation for future studies on where ethical decision-making should begin and what guidelines should be followed for ethically evaluating target marketing.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

market (138), target (107), advertis (104), ethic (72), product (69), public (64), relat (61), consum (47), alcohol (46), research (40), children (39), cigarett (38), vulner (37), may (33), evalu (33), et (32), al (31), mcdonald (29), american (27), communic (27), relationship (26),

Author's Keywords:

target marketing; ethics; public relations; advertising; target; marketing
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MLA Citation:

Fisher, Brooke A.. "Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p111389_index.html>

APA Citation:

Fisher, B. , 2003-05-27 "Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p111389_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Target marketing is both common place and necessary for the success of any public relations or advertising campaign. Yet, these campaigns can raise ethical dilemmas, especially in regards to the marketing of harmful products and the targeting of vulnerable consumers. This paper identifies aspects of target marketing that can be ethically questionable, including the method of persuasion, the nature of the product and the target. Differences among marketing, advertising and public relations are discussed to determine whether one of these communication tools produces more potential for ethical dilemmas then the others. Also, the role of the product, paying special attention to sin products, is examined as well as the perceived vulnerability of the target audience. Finally, the present research provides a foundation for future studies on where ethical decision-making should begin and what guidelines should be followed for ethically evaluating target marketing.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 28
Word count: 7135
Text sample:
Ethics of Target Marketing: Process Product or Target? Introduction How many individuals would argue that marketing blond-enhancing shampoo to white women is unethical? What about marketing vitamin supplements to the elderly or video games to adolescents? How about targeting Blacks or Hispanics with scholarship funds sponsored by cigarette companies? Segmenting audiences into groups that can be targeted with specific messages is a core principle of marketing. According to Ringold (1995) “Targeting is the intentional pursuit of exchange with a
Beverages. Working paper National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 27 Working Group on the Effects of Mass media and the Use and Abuse of Alcohol Washington D.C. Wilcox Dennis L. Phillip H. Ault and Warren K. Agee. (1997). Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. New York: Longman. Williams Jerome D. (1993). Minority Adolescents Alcohol Consumption and Media Effects: A Review of Issues and Research. In R.M. Lerner (ed) Early Adolescence: Perspectives on Research Policy and Intervention New Jersey: Lawrence


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