Marketing is a marketing strategy that considers moral viewpoints concerning both social and environmental aspects involved in the production of a company’s products or services. Have the workers been paid a fair wage? Is the production of this product environmentally friendly? These are just two of the issues surrounding ethical marketing which consumers and companies may ask themselves before engaging in retail. Its importance to the consumer reflects its importance to producers as they are the target audience, therefore the concept of ethical marketing is highly valued by large organizations.
Ethical marketing has evolved rapidly over the last few years, but its impact is still not being projected fast enough outwit western society. Western companies outsource their labor to countries like Bangladesh in order to drive down production costs, providing the western consumer with high quality goods, at a low price. Recent changes in government legislation have proved life changing to the people involved in Bangladesh infamous labor intensive garment industry. In 2013, over 1130 garment workers were killed (Parvenu, 2014) in the Ran Plaza factory when the building collapsed due to gelignite and ignorance of its structural safety.
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Many top LIKE retailers have been exposed and criticized for their part in the production of these goods and the working conditions that accompanied them, chiefly Primary. One of the key issues highlighted with the outsourcing of Primary’s labor force was the extremely poor working conditions employees would have to endure in order to make ends meet. Workers, forced to provide for their families, would work 18 hour shifts with little or no break for less than adequate wages. Buildings were also constructed without any planning permission with no health and safety regulations governing them.
This led to high density work areas within buildings that were not structurally sound – an accident waiting to happen. Goods ethics promote the idea that people can expect to be safe. With reference to the case of Ran Plaza the workers had no such expectations. Moreover, they had no choice; they were forced into working in the factory although it was suspected to be unsafe, or they faced losing their jobs – their only source of income jeopardized, leaving them no choice. Although the structural safety of the building had been challenged, not one of the workers was informed of the dangers.
All of these points indicate very or ethics towards the workers. Following media exposure, western society and ethical pressure groups have massively influenced change following this disaster. The national minimum wage has risen by 77% for Bangladesh garment workers (Butler, 2014) due to new government legislation in response to the demands of various pressure groups. This disaster also prompted Primary to urgently review the structural health of all factories producing products for the brand (Primary, 2014).
This shows us how ethics can be used to influence the behavior of multinational organizations to promote the safety and well being of their workforce. This is conclusive evidence that ethical marketing can help improve working conditions for employees. It may be welcomed by fashion houses such as Primary as it emits a better image to western consumers. Ethical marketing can prove a little more costly to both the producer and the consumer, for example, a pair of jeans originally priced at E going up to E, reflecting initial production costs of E and E.
Although there has been a slight increase in cost, the consumer may feel more inclined to purchase the goods as they know a small increase in price will have a large effect on the workers concerned in the reduction of the goods. Choosing more ethical products also offers the consumer “peace of mind” knowing their actions are having a positive effect on helping to resolve the issue of poverty and continue to initiate schemes that ensure buildings have the relevant health and safety requirements which in turn leads to improved working conditions.
Companies may also market their product based on this information to widen their consumer audience and attract customers. Over time, this increased revenue may even cancel out additional costs associated with paying higher production costs proving ethical marketing is beneficial to both the company’s public image and also its total revenue and profits. As previously discussed, consumers are now also adapting to a more ethical approach when they pay for goods or services. Many consumers choose to buy Firetrap goods to ensure they are making a contribution to eliminating the poverty that plagues the third world producing these products.
Consumers have chosen to re-evaluate the importance of ethics based on moral decisions influenced by disasters such as Ran Plaza. This highlights the importance and effect of ethical marketing to the consumer in the modern economy. Green marketing is another form of ethical marketing that involves products that do not harm the environment. Wind turbines have become popular as a renewable and alternative source of energy for countries like our own. Just outside Glasgow, Whitely is the Auk’s largest onshore wind farm housing a total of 215 wind turbines – with the capability to provide power for nearly 300,000 homes (Whitely website, 2014).
This type of renewable energy has the benefit of not requiring a fuel source. As most forms of energy require either nuclear or carbon based fuels, they also require a continual running cost to provide these fuels. Therefore, long run continual costs may be decreased by investing in this form of technology. They also produce no harmful bal product which means any firms investing in this technology are showing their willingness to the world to tackle climate change head on. This approach to tackle the world’s problems will only convey positive relations with the government and consumers.
Wind farms are growing in popularity due to their ability to produce substantial amounts Of energy, but investment to develop more wind farms is hindered by their relatively large initial set up costs. The average wind turbine at Whitely costs Meme to erect and investors will wait up to 20 years before they see any return from their money. This is one of the negative aspects of this green form of energy. They also require continuous maintenance over their lifetime to ensure they are in full working order – this again comes at a high cost.
These higher costs can affect revenue and profits for the companies running the projects. Despite this, Scottish Power has still invested a substantial amount of capital to make wind farms like Whitely a reality. In doing so, Scottish Power has massively reduced its arbor footprint. Switching some of its assets to renewable energy means the company is generating more megawatts of electricity per gram of carbon. Consequently, this has reduced the amount of carbon tax the company has to pay in accordance with the Auk’s climate taxation policy (Hope, 2013).
Renewable energy projects are also entitled to government grants and subsidies to encourage their development. Therefore, “going green” has proved beneficial to Scottish Power as it will be able to advertise the highly desirable image of being an energy company that is tackling the issue of limited change whilst generating profits from a long term project with high reward in the long run. Therefore it can be concluded that Scottish Power will benefit from its use of ethical marketing in this instance. General public opinion suggests consumers are also more inclined towards green energy (Business Green, 2012) due to their moral values.
People are switching to so called “green tariffs” to address the worldwide issue of climate change and do so through contributing to one of these green tariff energy plans. This consumer behavior of paying more for the same product, reiterates the importance of ethical marketing. Consumers are choosing the economically less favorable choice based purely upon their ethological values. Consumers are well aware of the increased price of choosing to go green and have the choice to decide between different energy plans.
This is a prime example of how the consumer values ethics in the real world having discussed both the negative and positive aspects of ethical marketing in this instance. Having discussed two real life scenarios in which ethical marketing has played, and will continue to play a huge role, the importance of its impact on shaping the world we live in is undeniable. Ethical marketing strives to provide everyone with a fairer share of the pie and is undoubtedly the cornerstone in the process of forming a more just world.
There is a lot of poverty in the world, and it is an issue we continue to tackle; ethical marketing pioneers the changes in the working conditions these people are subjected to and also directly influences their wages. Over time and with development of our ethological values as a society we will continue to contribute to these people in need in an effort to create a fairer world – the original ideology Of Firetrap. Ethical marketing is revolutionaries our energy industry, promoting and providing new renewable energy sources that will save our planet.