Introduction to Marketing
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MM2711 Introduction to MarketingIndividual AssignmentWong Yuen Yu13086255DTUT007 (Wed 0930-1030)Group 4IntroductionMarketing is important for companies to succeed. According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (2016), it is a management process for companies to identify and satisfy customer needs. However, in order to make higher profit, some firms may violate ethical values in their marketing activities. BackgroundEstablished in 1999, Reckitt Benckiser Group is a leading manufacturer of health and household products in the world (Reckitt Benckiser Group, 2016). There are unethical issues related to the marketing practices of Nurofen, a painkiller brand under Reckitt Benckiser Group. It has 4 different analgesic products that are marketed as treating 4 specific types of pain, including migraine pain, period pain, back pain and tension headache. Despite having distinct selling points and selling prices, these painkillers were found to have exactly the same amount of active ingredient (Walker, 2015). None of them were any better at relieving one type of pain than general pain-relief products, but their prices were much higher (Hatch & Lin, 2015). According to the American Marketing Association (2016), these marketing practices have violated 3 ethical values: honesty, fairness and transparency.
HonestyFor honesty, Reckitt Benckiser Group failed to be forthright in dealings with customers and stakeholders. It made false claims to customers about the functions of its Nurofen specific-pain products. The firm claimed that these products could treat 4 specific types of pain, yet all of them contained exactly the same quantity of active ingredient (Walker, 2015). They had similar functions as general painkillers, but they were sold at far higher prices (Hatch & Lin, 2015). As pointed out by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (2015), Reckitt Benckiser Group was dishonest about the efficacy of Nurofen specific pain products. Such practice violates the ethical value of honesty as the firm failed to be truthful in advertising and selling its products. FairnessFor fairness, Reckitt Benckiser Group failed to balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller. The firm exploited its medical knowledge to mislead and fool customers. People generally do not have a thorough understanding of drugs, and they cannot distinguish which chemicals can treat their specific types of pain. Accordingly, they choose to believe the claims of Reckitt Benckiser and buy Nurofen products, expecting that the drugs can ease the pain of their particular body parts. Yet this might not be the case. The firm took advantage of customer trust and charged them higher prices for the misleadingly claimed painkillers. This is not fair to customers because the firm failed to balance their expectations and its own interests. This practice violates the ethical value of fairness because the firm misled customers by making false claims about its products.