Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3027 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry


Marketing Research Ethics: the Tobacco Industry in America

Marketing Research

Market research differs from marketing research ((Marketing Teacher 2010). Market research only presents data about a specific market. Marketing research begins with Market research data but goes on to other aspects, including research into new products and appropriate modes of distribution. It is much broader. It connects the consumer, customer, and the public to the marketer through information. The marketer also uses this information to discover marketing opportunities and issues; evolve and polish marketing actions; monitor marketing outcomes; and better understand the marketing process. Marketing research comes up with the precise information that addresses issues and problems, develops data collection methods, oversees this collection process, analyzes and transmits findings and implications to appropriate recipients (Marketing Teacher).Download full
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry Assignment

Marketing research deals with the elements of the marketing mix, competitors, markets and everything about the customer (Marketing Teacher 2010). It uses a systematic approach of 10 steps. These are defining the problem, determining the methods of data collection, selecting the sample method, analysis of collected data, setting a time frame and a budget, consulting with the managers or clients requesting the research, conduct and analyze the data, check for errors, write the data report. Defining the problem requires a clear knowledge of the purpose of the research. Methods of data collection include a telephone survey and a focus group. Sampling can be random, stratified or cluster. Data analysis should include a method, the software to use and the required degree of accuracy. The sources of data are either primary or secondary. Primary data are original. Secondary data are drawn from existing sources developed for other purposes. Ideally, the final report should include charts, tables and diagrams and all aimed at obtaining the solution to the problem or need previously stated (Marketing Teacher).

Ethics in Marketing Research

Through its Statement of Ethics of the American Marketing Association (AMA 2010) commits itself to the highest standards of professional ethical norms and values for all its members. These norms and values are integrated into their responsibility to their stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, peers, channels, regulators and the community. Their ethical norms forbid them to do harm, establish trust in the marketing system, and affirm ethical values. They conduct business in good faith and fair deal. They avoid deception in product design, communication and distribution. They practice the core values of honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship. They pledge to be truthful in all situations and always and offer products; honor their explicit and implicit commitments and promises; accept the consequences of their marketing decisions and approaches, especially towards vulnerable markets, and practice environmental stewardship; balance the buyer's needs and rights with the interests of the seller; acknowledge the basic human dignity of all stakeholders; remain open in all their marketing operations; and fulfill all their economic, humanitarian, and social responsibilities towards these stakeholders. The Association expects its members to be courageously and proactively fulfill the promises they make to stakeholders. It recognizes that every industry has its own sub-discipline, which confronts specific ethical issues, requiring specific policies. In pursuit of the principle of subsidiarity, members are encouraged to develop or refine discipline-specific codes of ethics to supplement the Association's ethical norms and values (AMA).

Unethical marketing practices include low-all pricing, subjectivity in research, abusing respondents, selling unnecessary research, and violating client confidentiality (Kumar & Kandasamy 2010). Some research clients request bids for predetermined suppliers, request bids to obtain free information or methodology, make false promises and issue un-authorized requests for proposals. The use of professional respondents in marketing research is unethical. Respondents have the right to choose whether to participate or not in a research project; to protect themselves from physical or psychological harm; and to be informed about all the aspects of a research project. They have the right to know what the task is, how long the research project will last and how the data will be used. They have the right to privacy (Kumar and Kandasamy 2010).

Why Ethics is Important

All organizations are continuously exposed to all forms of ethical misconduct and illegal behavior by employees and managers, even when they mean no harm (Ferrell 2006). Potential risks must be identified and forms of misconduct must be promptly discovered. Among these risks are over-billing, deceptive sales methods, fraud, antitrust and price fixing. A plan and system must be set up to determine what is going on and deal with it promptly without covering up, ignoring or staying away from legal and ethical complications. Marketing misconduct happens in all firms and the only effective way to succeed in contemporary business is to discover and deal with this misconduct. The courts of law are often the last resort for unethical practices. But negative publicity can badly hurt or destroy a company's reputation. Many unethical activities, which often land in court, are marketing activities. These usually begin as marketing efforts, which eventually turn out to be unethical. Businesses, which manage ethics effectively, are better able to absorb, react and adjust to most problems in conduct or decisions. There should be a plan to reduce potential damages from poor choices by the leadership, effective ethics programs, prompt response, and public crisis management communication before the situation goes out-of-hand (Ferrell).

Value-driven leadership and compliance-driven ethics training, monitoring and reporting systems must be incorporated into the ethical corporate culture (Ferrell 2006). The organization must understand what influences behavior and how it aligns with organizational goals. It must establish a kind of framework for ethical decision-making. It will not dictate how to make decisions but describes how these are made. It will facilitate the factors that influence decision-making within the organization. A marketing manager who must make effective ethical decisions must know the subject matter very well, evaluate the risk, and must have the experience in projecting consequences of his decision to all stakeholders. These organizational decisions call for a manager's ability to work through directives and pressure from the work group (Ferrell).

The Tobacco Industry

Tobacco grows indigenously in North and South America (Randall 1999). It belongs to the same species as the potato, pepper and the night shade, which is a very deadly plant. Tobacco growing dates back to 6,000 B.C. In around 1 B.C., American Indians began using tobacco in their religious rites and medicinal practices. They viewed it as a panacea for disease and to dress wounds and to stop pain or relieve toothache. Historical records say that on October 15, 1492, American Indians offered dried tobacco leaves as a gift to Christopher Columbus. European sailors brought the tobacco to Europe where it was popularly grown for its supposed healing properties. A Spanish doctor, Nicolas Monardes, wrote a book about the history of medicinal plants in the new world in 1571. In this book, he claimed that tobacco can cure 36 health conditions. Thomas Harriet of Virginia promoted smoking tobacco as a means of obtaining daily dose of the "cure-all." Tobacco reached peak success so that it was even used as legal tender, something seen as "good as gold." The adverse effects of the habit were, however, not ignored by everyone. In 1610, Sir Francis Bacon commented that quitting the habit was extremely difficult. Moral beliefs also opposed it. Public smoking was illegal in Massachusetts 12 years after the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth Rock. Nonetheless, the industry was established. In 1613, John Rolfe conducted the first successful tobacco cultivation in Virginia (Morrison 1965 as qtd in McGrew 2010. In 1760, Pierre Lorillard put up his company in New York, named after him. P. Lorillard processed tobacco, cigars and similar items. It was the oldest tobacco company in the United States (Randall).

The Growth of the Industry

The industry continued to grow. Tobacco served as collateral for loans borrowed by the Americans from France to finance the American Revolutionary War (Randall 1999). In the meantime, more and more scientists came to know the toxic chemicals in tobacco and the danger of smoking to health. They discovered nicotine in 1826 as a poison. In 1836, Samuel Green of New England considered tobacco an insecticide, which can kill human beings. The famous Philip Morris USA was established in 1847, first selling hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes. It was followed two years later by J.E. Liggett and Brother in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1875, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was established and produced chewing tobacco. By the 1900s, cigarette became the major tobacco product. In 1901, cigarette sale reached 3.5 billion and cigars, 6 billion. Philip Morris put up its New York headquarters in 1902 and began to market its cigarette brands. These were the famous Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Merit, Parliament, Alpine, Basic Cambridge, Bucks, Dave's, Chesterfield, Collector's Choice, Commander, English Ovals, Lark, L & M, Players and Saratoga. An anti-tobacco campaign was beginning to form then and proposed a total ban on tobacco. But the demand for cigarette continued to grow, so R.J. Reynolds introduced the cigarette… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry.  (2010, October 22).  Retrieved January 18, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry."  22 October 2010.  Web.  18 January 2022. <>.

Chicago Style

"Marketing Research Ethics in the Tobacco Industry."  October 22, 2010.  Accessed January 18, 2022.