Ethics in Marketing Questions and Answers

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Could you give your view on the tension between businesses interests in maximizing profits and the public’s interest in receiving complete, truthful, and non-misleading information about products that they purchase?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The whole objective of business is to maximize and increase profits. When morality and ethics undergird this principle, the tension between profits and honest disclosure is not very great.

To understand this, think for example of a person ordering a new carriage to be built in the 1600s or 1700s as people did for upcoming weddings. The carriage builder is motivated by profit, yet, because the product will be directly connected to the builder and will be directly connected to the customer and their safety on the road, morality and ethics played a large part in the process and tempered to avarice for profit. In other words, if anything went wrong with the carriage or if a safety defect on the carriage caused injury or loss of...

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