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Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?
Unformatted Document Text:  9 well being of children around the world, such as preventing suicide among teens, bringing health and dental care to underserved children via mobile units, and providing life- changing reconstructive surgery for children around the world. According to the charity’s webpage, it has awarded $320 million dollars in grants to date worldwide. Although it is commendable for McDonald’s to provide support for needy children, it also is important to recognize that the fast-food corporation is not donating its resources purely out of the goodness of its heart. Helping children in need fits into its general marketing plan of targeting children and creates an improved public image (relationship building) of the company. This is a top-down approach and fits into the managerial role of public relations. Finally, it is important to note that while the advertising strategies are fairly clear, the public relations tactics may be more ethically questionable because they are less obvious. For example, many college and church groups volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House without thinking that they may be supporting the proliferation of the fast food giant’s international presence. Although some consumers may not have a problem with this, it is relevant to recognize that consumers may not be making a choice to support consumption of unhealthy food when they volunteer to bring medical services to poor neighborhoods. In addition, the play areas may seem like a good idea to parents, but they may not be conscious of the fact that McDonald’s is not merely providing a convenient service; rather, the company is creating a powerful incentive for the children and parents to want to return to fast-food restaurant. Up to this point, it has been concluded that public relations strategies may be more ethically questionable because consumers may be less aware of their persuasive

Authors: Fisher, Brooke A..
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well being of children around the world, such as preventing suicide among teens, bringing
health and dental care to underserved children via mobile units, and providing life-
changing reconstructive surgery for children around the world. According to the charity’s
webpage, it has awarded $320 million dollars in grants to date worldwide. Although it is
commendable for McDonald’s to provide support for needy children, it also is important
to recognize that the fast-food corporation is not donating its resources purely out of the
goodness of its heart. Helping children in need fits into its general marketing plan of
targeting children and creates an improved public image (relationship building) of the
company. This is a top-down approach and fits into the managerial role of public
relations.
Finally, it is important to note that while the advertising strategies are fairly clear,
the public relations tactics may be more ethically questionable because they are less
obvious. For example, many college and church groups volunteer at the Ronald
McDonald House without thinking that they may be supporting the proliferation of the
fast food giant’s international presence. Although some consumers may not have a
problem with this, it is relevant to recognize that consumers may not be making a choice
to support consumption of unhealthy food when they volunteer to bring medical services
to poor neighborhoods. In addition, the play areas may seem like a good idea to parents,
but they may not be conscious of the fact that McDonald’s is not merely providing a
convenient service; rather, the company is creating a powerful incentive for the children
and parents to want to return to fast-food restaurant.
Up to this point, it has been concluded that public relations strategies may be
more ethically questionable because consumers may be less aware of their persuasive


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