Author: Goldbach, Justin F.
Source: The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program
In recent years, attention to social and environmental issues in product marketing has become a mainstream practice and offers opportunities for firms to differentiate themselves in the market. Popular examples abound: organic produce, hybrid cars, and fair trade coffee, to name just a few. While business coursework is quickly following practice in the field, our data show that a critical examination of the social impact of marketing is limited in some instances to issues of legality and ethics. When ethical concerns are raised, they are commonly discussed in the context of avoiding harmful marketing practices, especially prohibitive product pricing and deceptive advertising. On the other hand, international marketing classes do a good job of discussing socio-cultural considerations in the analysis of new target markets.