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Marketing Advertising and Sales
Business Ethics

Public and ethical issues in direct marketing?

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October 12, 2010 7:59AM

· Irritation- many people do not like the large number of hard sell, direct marketing solicitations. Especially bothersome are dinnertime or late-night phone calls, poorly trained callers, and computerized calls by auto-dial recorded-message players.

· Unfairness- some direct marketers take advantage of impulsive or less sophisticated buyers or prey on the vulnerable, especially the elderly.

· Deception and fraud- some direct marketers design mailers and write copy intended to mislead. They may exaggerate product size, performance claims, or the retail price.

· Invasion of privacy- It seems that almost every time customers order products by mail or telephone, enter a sweepstakes, apply for a credit card, or take out magazine subscription, their name, address, and purchasing behavior maybe added to several company databases. Critics worry that marketers may know too much about consumer's lives, and they may use this knowledge to take unfair advantage.