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Smoking and Obesity

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Question 1:

From: Chapter 1: Marketing: Creating and Capturing Customer Value
Name of the textbook: Principles of Marketing (14th Edition)
PHILIP Kotler "Northwestern University" & GARY Armstrong "University of North Carolina"
Question title: Focus on ethics "page 33"

Sixty years ago, about 45 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes, but now the smoking rate is less than 20 percent. This decline results from acquired knowledge on the potential health dangers of smoking and marketing restrictions for this product. Although smoking rates are declining in most developed nations, however, more and more consumers in developing nations, such as Russia and China, are puffing away. Smoker rates in some countries run as high as 40 percent. Developing nations account for more than 70 percent of world tobacco consumption, and marketers are fueling this growth. Most of these nations do not have the restrictions prevalent in developed nations, such as advertising bans, warning labels, and distribution restrictions. Consequently, it is predicted that one billion people worldwide will die this century from smoking-related ailments.

1. Given the extreme health risks, should marketers stop selling cigarettes even though they are legal and demanded by consumers? Should cigarette marketers continue to use marketing tactics that are restricted in one country in other countries where they are not restricted?
2. Research the history of cigarette marketing in the United States. Are there any new restrictions with respect to marketing this product?

Question 2:
From: Chapter 2: Company and Marketing Strategy: Partnering to Build Customer Relationships
Name of the textbook: Principles of Marketing (14th Edition)
PHILIP Kotler "Northwestern University" & GARY Armstrong "University of North Carolina"
Question title: Focus on ethics "Page 61"

With 64 percent of the women in the United States overweight or obese and less than half participating in regular physical activity, athletic shoe marketers saw an opportunity: "toning shoes." Marketers tout these shoes as revolutionary; you can tone your muscles, lose weight, and improve your posture just by wearing them and going about your daily business. The claims are based on shoemaker-sponsored studies, and the Podiatric Medical Association agrees that toning shoes have some health value. They purportedly perform their magic by destabilizing a person's gait, making leg muscles work harder. Consumers, particularly women, are buying it. Toning shoe sales reached an estimated $1.5 billion in 2010. Sketchers saw a 69 percent increase in sales due to its shoe that looks like a rocking chair on the bottom. Reebok expected toning shoe sales to increase tenfold to $10 million in 2010. Toning shoes accounted for 20 percent of the women's performance footwear category in 2009, with prices ranging from $80 to more than $200. However, these shoes have their critics, who claim a shoe that comes with an instruction booklet and an educational DVD to explain proper usage should wave warning flags to consumers. Some doctors claim the shoes are dangerous, causing strained Achilles tendons or worse; one wearer broke her ankle while wearing them. A study by the American Council on Exercise found no benefit in toning shoes over regular walking or other exercise. Noticeably absent from the toning shoe feeding frenzy is Nike, which thinks it's all hype and is sticking to traditional performance athletic shoes. This leader in the women's shoe market, however, is losing market share to competitors.

1. Should these shoemakers capitalize on consumers who want to be fit without doing the work to achieve that goal? Do you think that basing claims on research sponsored by the company is ethical? Explain your reasoning
2. Should Nike have entered this product category instead of giving up market share to competitors? Explain your reasoning.

Question 3:
From: Chapter 3: Analyzing the Marketing Environment
Name of the textbook: Principles of Marketing (14th Edition)
PHILIP Kotler "Northwestern University" & GARY Armstrong "University of North Carolina"
Question title: Focus on Technology "Page 93"

If you really want to identify the zeitgeist, or "spirit of the times," look at the top Web sites visited, the top videos watched on YouTube, the top songs downloaded, or the top Twitter feeds. Trend spotters such as Faith Popcorn and Tom Peters have been mainstays for marketers trying to understand cultural trends, but the Internet is now the new crystal ball for anyone wanting to predict where society is going in real time. The World Mind Network provides a clearinghouse of links to "top" lists at www.thetopeverything.net. In just a few minutes a day, you, too, can be up on what's hot in today's culture.

1. Visit www.thetopeverything.net and review the Web sites identified. What can you learn about culture and cultural trends from these sources? Write a brief report on your conclusions.
2. Do you think these sources accurately reflect cultural trends? Identify other Web sites that might be useful in learning about cultural trends.

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Solution Preview

Question 1

Marketers should stop selling cigarettes even though they are legal and demanded by consumers. From the point of view of deontological ethics, it is the duty of marketers to refrain from marketing any product that can harm the customer. Since cigarettes can harm the customers, marketers should refrain from marketing cigarettes. The law is not the issue, the issue is morality. Marketers should not use marketing tactics that are restricted in one country in countries where they are not restricted.

The history of cigarette marketing in the United States shows that after 1971, most tobacco advertising was done in magazines, news papers, and on billboards. In 1997 the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement banned outdoor billboard, and public transportation advertising of cigarettes in 46 states. In 2010, the Tobacco Control Act was passed that not only placed restrictions on tobacco marketing but also extensive constrains concerning the circulation of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to minors. Currently, paid product placement, brand name sponsored concerts, and distribution of merchandise with cigarette brands names are banned. The new restrictions say that audio advertisements are not permitted ...

Solution Summary

The answer to this problem explains three questions on marketing. The references related to the answer are also included.

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Understanding Trends in the Marketing Environment

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Consumer behavior is influenced by both internal and external factors. Internal factors, also called the personal factors, are things like motivation, learning, and perception. External, or social, factors include things like social norms, family roles, and cultural values. Trends in the external environment can have major impact on consumer choices and preferences. It is important for marketing managers to be aware of such trends. How can managers learn about such trends? Let us explore the Web site of a company that conducts national surveys and publishes reports on such trends.

Harris Interactive frequently publishes several survey findings that can be of interest to marketers. Let us examine three such surveys. First, take a look at a survey done on March 6, about the Obesity Epidemic in America. This study finds that among people over 25, 80 percent are overweight. This proportion has been on a steady increase since 1983 (when it was 58 percent). The proportion of obese people was 71 percent just a few years ago, in 1995. Interestingly, 60 percent of people surveyed said they wanted to lose weight.

Another survey done by Harris Poll focuses on whom Americans trust. This survey presents data on which professions are considered most trustworthy to Americans. The survey indicates that Americans trust priests and other clergymen the most (90%), followed by teachers (88%), doctors (84%), and police officers (78%). Among the least trusted professions were trade union leaders (37%), members of Congress (42%), business leaders (43%), and journalists (49%).

A third survey conducted by Harris Interactive focuses on Americans' leisure time activities. This survey asks people to name their favorite leisure-time activities and how much time they allow for their leisure. The most popular leisure-time activity is reading (28%), followed by watching TV (20%), spending time with family and kids (12%), fishing (12%), and gardening (10%). The popularity of these activities has stayed fairly consistent over the years. The survey also found that Americans spend 50 hours per week on their work. In the early 1970s, this number used to be just 41 hours a week. Some other relatively popular pastime activities included swimming (8%), computer activities (7%), and going to the movies (7%).

After reviewing the three surveys mentioned above, answer the following questions.

1 Given the trend in obesity among American consumers, which industries stand to benefit the most? Why?
2 How would you use the information on whom Americans trust for marketing purposes?
3 How can marketers use information on the leisure-time activities of Americans?

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