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Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?
Unformatted Document Text:  19 best. Other researchers have supported this conclusion (Franke et al; 1987; Kohn et al, 1984; Calfee et al, 1994). Indeed the very concept of the vulnerable consumer has been questioned by many researchers. Calfee et al (1994) found that the majority of consumers consider advertising to be an essential source of useful product information and understand advertising’s role as a persuader. Nevertheless, some research has indicated a strong relationship between advertising and alcohol consumption (Atkin et al, 1983; Atkin et al, 1984). Furthermore, researchers have examined alcohol-related problems among African Americans, inferring that target marketing is to blame for these health problems. The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that alcohol is the number one health and safety problem for African Americans in the United States. (Lerner, 1993). African Americans drink less than Whites on average, but have the highest rate of alcohol-related health problems (Cui, 2000). According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, since 1975 African American high school seniors have reported lower alcohol use rates than their white and Latino peers (Scott et al, 1992). These researchers conclude that the industry has targeted African Americans because they were seen as an untapped market. As a direct consequence of marketing efforts, African Americans have developed sever alcohol-related health problems. The data seem to indicate that marketing efforts have impacted African Americans consumption of alcohol as well as alcohol-related health problems. However, another option is that marketers are responding to a demand in the African American market for certain types of liquor. Though this conclusion seems less likely given the health

Authors: Fisher, Brooke A..
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best. Other researchers have supported this conclusion (Franke et al; 1987; Kohn et al,
1984; Calfee et al, 1994). Indeed the very concept of the vulnerable consumer has been
questioned by many researchers. Calfee et al (1994) found that the majority of consumers
consider advertising to be an essential source of useful product information and
understand advertising’s role as a persuader.
Nevertheless, some research has indicated a strong relationship between
advertising and alcohol consumption (Atkin et al, 1983; Atkin et al, 1984). Furthermore,
researchers have examined alcohol-related problems among African Americans, inferring
that target marketing is to blame for these health problems.
The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that alcohol is the
number one health and safety problem for African Americans in the United States.
(Lerner, 1993). African Americans drink less than Whites on average, but have the
highest rate of alcohol-related health problems (Cui, 2000). According to the National
Institute for Drug Abuse, since 1975 African American high school seniors have reported
lower alcohol use rates than their white and Latino peers (Scott et al, 1992). These
researchers conclude that the industry has targeted African Americans because they were
seen as an untapped market. As a direct consequence of marketing efforts, African
Americans have developed sever alcohol-related health problems.
The data seem to indicate that marketing efforts have impacted African Americans
consumption of alcohol as well as alcohol-related health problems. However, another
option is that marketers are responding to a demand in the African American market for
certain types of liquor. Though this conclusion seems less likely given the health


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