Secondly, Mattel recalled toys frequently as there were five recalls in less than a year (Mattel. com, 2010). Thirdly, the packaging of Mattel`s product contributed to rainforest destruction (Jakarta, 2011). According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), these activities are unethical and violate 3 ethical values including responsibility, honesty and citizenship. Responsibility For responsibility, Mattel failed to accept the consequences of our marketing decision and strategies. Mattel did not recognize their special commitments to vulnerable market segments such as children who may be disadvantaged.
First of all, on August 14 2007, Mattel`s product, the ‘Sarge’ cars, was discovered with lead paint and tiny magnets which are harmful and dangerous to children. Although the product was recalled, some of the products which are claimed passed still contain lead paint. However, Mattel minimized the impact of the use of lead paint. In fact, lead is toxic if ingested by children and there is no safe level of lead in them according to Dr. John Rosen, a lead poisoning specialist (Consumer news, 2007).
Although the dangers of lead poisoning are hidden and unobservable, Mattel should take the responsibility instead of doing nothing to prevent the dangers . This violates the ethical value of responsibility because Mattel failed to recognize their special commitments to their customers. Honesty For honesty, Mattel failed to forthright in dealings with customers and stakeholders. Mattel promises that their priority is the safety of the children who play with their toys (URLwire, 2007). However, there were four recalls in six months in 2007, but Mattel did not draw a lesson. In 2010, Mattel toys had been recalled for five times.
One of the products called Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles led to 10 serious injuries before the product was recalled. In order to meet their promise and ensure the safety of children, Mattel should check the quality of their products carefully before they are sold. In these cases, Mattel did not have an adequate quality control in the manufacturing process. Being the largest toy company in the world based on the revenue, Mattel should not recall the defected products only if the injuries happen. As a result, Mattel did not honor their promise to place children safety at the first place.
This violates the ethical value of honesty according to AMA. Citizenship In terms of citizenship, Mattel failed to fulfill the economic, legal, philanthropic and societal responsibilities that serve stakeholders. Greenpeace evidenced that Barbie doll packaging come from Indonesian rainforests. Mattel did not protect the ecological environment in the execution of marketing campaigns. Mattel was using products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a pulp and paper company notorious for destroying Indonesian rainforests, leading to the extinction of Sumatran Tiger (Greenpeace, 2011).
The product of Mattel, Barbie, was wrapped up in rainforest destruction which destroys the ecological environment and pushes critically endangered wildlife towards extinction. Although Mattel adopted a new packaging policy after the blame from the public, they still did a lot of damages to the environment. According to ! 1 AMA, this practice is unethical because Mattel failed to fulfill the societal responsibility to serve the public and violates citizenship. Conclusion To sum up, consumers lose confident to Mattel`s products because of the mentioned unethical activities.
As the world largest toy company, Mattel should not only focus on their sales, but also be more responsible for the environment. Although it is impossible to guarantee zero defected products, Mattel should pay more afford on the quality control to make sure the safety of children. In other words, Mattel should balance the profitability and ethic to achieve her international position. ! Reference Dictionary of Business Terms, Barron’s Educational Series (2007), retrieved October 11, 2011 from http://www. allbusiness. com/glossaries/business-ethics/4962856-1. html !
Fortune 500 List (2008) . Fortune, May 5, 2008, Retrieved October 8, 2011. http://money. cnn. com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2008/snapshots/272. html ! Jakarta, R. ( June 09, 2011), Greenpeace accuses Barbie of destroying rainforests, Retrieved October 10, 2011 from http://www. taipeitimes. com/News/front/archives/2011/06/09/2003505320 ! Kenyon, L. (October 5, 2011) Victory: Mattel and Barbie Drop Deforestation, Retrieved October 10, 2011 from http://www. greenpeace. org/usa/en/news-and-blogs/campaign-blog/victory-mattel-and-barbiedrop-deforestation/blog/37182/ ! Mattel (2010) .
Mattel`s recall, Retrieved October 12, 2011 from http://service. mattel. com/us/recall. asp ! Mauro, T. (August 14, 2007), More Bad News from Mattel, Retrieved October 10, 2011 from http://specialchildren. about. com/b/2007/08/14/more-bad-news-from-mattel. htm ! MSNbc. com (2007, August14), Mattel issues new massive China toy recall, Retrieved October 11, 2011 from http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/20254745/#. Tp8KWN7peGI ! URLwire (September27, 2007) ,Mattel. com Offers Detailed Toy Recall Website, Retrieved October 13, 2011 from http://www. urlwire. com/news/092707. html? !2 !
Sample 2 – Middle Score Corporations’ marketing activities are important information channels for consumers to evaluate the products. Companies that utilize marketing activities to mislead consumers are regarded as unethical by the American Marketing Association. By examining iPhone 4’s marketing strategies, Apple Inc. has been found to violate several ethical standards. ! Apple Inc. is a corporation that designs personal computers and computer software (Apple 2010). In recent years, the company has launched the iPhone series that instantly captivated the consumers (Dalrymple 2010).
In contrast, the new iPhone 4 is not positively received by market consumers due to Apple’s unethical marketing strategies. These unethical marketing activities have generated controversies amongst market consumers whether the new gadget should be preferred over other smart phones. ! An apparent violation of the AMA’s statement of ethics is honesty. It is best demonstrated by the promotion of iPhone 4. The newly launched iPhone 4 have been reported by their users with a problem in reception quality. iPhone 4 has its antenna exposed on the outer rim of the phone which makes it more susceptible to interference.
The report by Burrows and Guglielmo (2010) has documented Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, is well aware of the flaw in the design. However, official recognition of the problem only came after significant users have reported iPhone 4’s call quality issue. In this manner, Apple has deceived market consumers into buying iPhone 4. ! Another ethical value that has been undermined by Apple is transparency. The underlying principle of transparency is to take responsible actions in regards to product risks that could affect customers’ evaluation of the product (AMA 2010).
Although German and Ogg (2010) state the use of a free bumper case is able to eliminate the call quality issue, Apple’s responses to the crisis is unacceptable. It had tried to minimize its responsibilities in this incident by explicitly saying that other brands also have the antenna issue (Michaluk 2010). It had told customers to hold the iPhone differently in order to avoid the signal drop (Rothman 2010). The denial of responsibilities cannot demonstrate the company to have satisfied transparency in its marketing activities.
! Lastly, Apple has breached citizenship in accordance with the AMA ethical standard. A stress made in citizenship is to “ensure that trade is fair for all participants, including producers in developing countries” (AMA 2010). Recent incidents in the Foxconn’s factories have exposed Apple’s inability to uphold fairness while dealing with its manufacturer. Seventeen suicides have been attempted by Foxconn workers this year which raise suspicions about the working conditions inside the factories (Tam 2010).
Although Foxconn is responsible for the harsh working conditions inside the factories, Apple has aided in the exploitation of labours in China by loosely overseeing its producer. In conclusion, Apple has seriously infringed several ethical standards that are set forth by the American Marketing Association. The company has violated the honesty principle by hiding the flaw in the antenna design and denies the mistake made by the engineering team. It has failed to uphold transparency by denial of responsibilities. Apple has breached citizenship by allowing Foxconn’s exploitation of labours in China.
! The overall failure to defend the marketing ethics has left several black spots on the company’s profile. Apple will need to amend the damages done to its reputation in order to regain consumers’ faith. It should admit the mistakes made in the designing stage and take up the responsibilities by recalling the products for reconfigurations. The company should also exert tighter control over its supply chain to ensure fairness is ! 3 met. Only with such reparations can Apple restore its reputation in the subsequent products sales.