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    Behavioral Targeting in Ethical Advertising

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    I need some help answering questions on ethical advertising:
    1. What criteria should one use to distinguish ethical advertising from unethical advertising?
    Many large firms are investing in Behavioral Targeting i.e., tracking online activities of the target customer (the pages or sites users' visit, the content they view, the search queries they enter, the ads they click on, the information they share on social internet sites) and combining it with the time, length, and frequency of visits. Do you think Behavioral Targeting (BT) is ethical and conforms to market research standards? How can companies gather customer data without infringing individual rights to privacy?

    2. In recent years, social media has been a rapidly growing marketing communications vehicle. In your view, how well has social media performed in helping companies achieve their marketing communications objectives? Provide an example of a company/brand that uses the medium effectively and an example of one whose social media initiatives need improvement. What separates the peak performing brands from the "also-rans" in this medium?

    3. Promotions work hand in hand with advertising to stimulate awareness and/or trial of a product or a service. Companies use a variety of promotion tools to get their message across ranging from sample giveaways to rebates to loyalty incentives. Think back to the last time you participated in a promotion. What kind was it? Did it succeed in raising your awareness of the product? Why? Did it shift your purchasing behavior over the long-term? Why or why not? If you were CEO of the company, how would you change the promotion to make it more impactful and more effective?

    4. Discuss a U.S. corporation that practices a global marketing approach. In which country/region does it operate and what market entry strategy does it employ? Why do you think it chose this particular strategy?
    For the same corporation, suggest another market entry strategy for a different country/region. Justify your suggestion.
    Do you think the country-of-origin effect works in this case? Why or why not?

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    Solution Preview

    Step 1
    There are four criteria that I will use to distinguish ethical advertising from unethical advertising. The first criterion is truthfulness. Unethical advertising resorts to incorrect statements. It distorts the features and qualities of the product. The second criterion is that unethical advertising seeks to blur the distinction between it and other products. Unethical advertising seeks to confuse the customers and makes them err in their purchase decision. The third criterion is manipulation of emotions. Unethical advertising preys on the lower emotions of the target audience. For example, unethical advertising shows sexually explicit pictures to draw interest. It does not focus on the product. The fourth criterion is environmental consciousness. Unethical advertising does not show any concern for the environment. For example it promotes products that use excess electricity, waste water, or spend too much fuel. Ethical advertising is conscious of the environment.
    Behavioral advertising targets advertisements to persons based on their behavioral profiles. These profiles are created by tracking user behavior over a period of time. Behavioral advertising is not ethical and it does not confirm to marketing research standards. From the deontological ethical perspective it is the duty of the market researcher to protect the privacy of the respondent. This is not the case in behavioral advertising. Consider the standards of the Marketing Research ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution explores the ethics in adverting and marketing in a step-by-step discussion. The response also has the sources used.