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Case Analysis: Fair & Lovely Cosmetics

This case study analysis looks at the ethical views of advertising a cosmetic product in countries where the lighter your skin tone, the more "affluent" you are considered to be. The solution addresses the three specific questions below. It is over 450 words in length and the actual textbook case is attached.

1) Is it ethical to sell a product that is, at best, only mildly effective?

2) Is it ethical to exploit cultural norms and values to promote a product?

3) Is the advertising of Fair & Lovely demeaning to women, or is it promoting the fairness cream in a way not too dissimilar from how most cosmetics are promoted?

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1. Ethics are rarely a consideration in the selling a product or service; profit is. With a skin care market of over $318 million, the true effectiveness of the "fairness" product is likely inconsequential. Trying to measure "effectiveness" is completely a matter of consumer opinion. Some users may feel that the product has significantly lightened their complexion; while others may believe it did absolutely nothing. For any organization, which "opinion" would be considered "popular" in deeming the effectiveness of the product sold? That would likely be the opinion that will result in profits. Although "fairness" cream is not popular in the United States; a similar example is Proactiv for acne treatment. Popular ...

Solution Summary

This case study analysis looks at the ethical views of advertising a cosmetic product in countries where the lighter your skin tone, the more "affluent" you are considered to be. The solution addresses three specific questions on ethics, exploitation and advertising/promotion. It is over 450 words in length and the actual textbook case is attached; with a couple references relative to today's advertising campaigns.

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