Finally, some firms have, in fact, used unfair competitive marketing practices with the intention of hurting or destroying other firms. They may set their prices below costs, threaten to cut off business with suppliers, or discourage the buying of a competitor’s products 3 CONSUMER ACTIONS TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE MARKETING Because some people view businesses as the cause of many economic and social ills, grassroots movements have arisen from time to time to keep businesses in line. Two major movements have been consumerism and environmentalism. Consumerism Consumerism is an organized movement of citizens and government agencies to improve the rights and power of buyers in relation to sellers. Both marketers and consumers have rights that need to be protected. Traditional sellers’ rights include the following: • The right to introduce any product in any size and style, provided it is not hazardous to personal health or safety or, if it is, to include proper warnings and controls • The right to charge any price for the product, provided no discrimination exists among similar kinds of buyers • The right to spend any amount to promote the product, provided it is not defined as unfair competition • The right to use any product message, provided it is not misleading or dishonest in content or execution • The right to use buying incentive programs, provided they are not unfair or misleading Traditional buyers’ rights include the following: • The right not to buy a product that is offered for sale • The right to expect the product to be safe • The right to expect the product to perform as claimed Consumer advocates call for the following additional consumer rights:
• The right to be well informed about important aspects of the product • The right to be protected against questionable products and marketing practices • The right to influence products and marketing practices in ways that will improve “quality of life” • The right to consume now in a way that will preserve the world for future generations of consumers The right to be informed includes the right to know the true interest on a loan (truth in lending), the true cost per unit of a brand (unit pricing), the ingredients in a product (ingredient labelling), the nutritional value of foods (nutritional labelling), product freshness (open dating), and the true benefits of a product (truth in advertising) Proposals related to consumer protection include strengthening consumer rights in cases of business fraud, requiring greater product safety, ensuring information privacy, and giving more power to government agencies. Proposals relating to quality of life include controlling the ingredients that go into certain products and packaging and reducing the level of advertising “noise.” Proposals for preserving the world for future consumption include promoting the use of sustainable ingredients, recycling and reducing solid wastes, and managing energy consumption.
- Spring '15