Issues in Direct Marketing
At the descriptive level, certainly, you would expect different cultures to develop different sorts of ethics and obviously they have; that doesn’t mean that you can’t think of overarching ethical principles you would want people to follow in all kinds of places.
- Deception and Fraud
Exaggerating product price, performance claims or even product size are some of the fraudulent practices followed in real life situations. E.g. You were told by a restaurant owner that with X coupons the next time you visit, you will be given 20% discount but that doesn’t happen
- Unfairness: Some direct marketers take the advantage of impulsive or less sophisticated buyers or prey on the vulnerable. E.g. A shopping Mall selling a T-shirt for Rs. 250 stating that its relatively cheaper in organized market but you find the same in a local shop for Rs. 200
- Irritation: How does one feel when one keeps getting unwanted sms and emails about different products and services offered? Too many cook spoils the broth. The marketers sometimes don’t bother to consider customer’s request to stop the nuisance they are creating for them
- Invasion of privacy: Privacy is no longer a private word. E.g. X gets calls to apply for a credit card based on his income, he wonders who discloses his details. Sometimes a consumer feels that the seller is taking undue advantage of his personal details