The market economy is a faceless system that is run by competition, and the means to achieve and succeed may not always be ethical or acceptable. Marketers have been accused for deceptive practices, such as deceptive pricing, promotion and packaging. Deceptive practices lead the consumer to believe they get more value to their money than they actually do. Marketers have also been accused for creating needs that would not exist without heavy advertising. For example, people can be made to believe that they might need a certain medicine for a condition that actually goes not require medical treatment.
Due to these faults marketing practices have changed in the previous years to be more socially and environmentally responsible, and movements such as consumerism and environmentalism have developed. We will now shortly go through these concepts. Societal Marketing Resent environmental problems, resource shortages, worldwide economic problems and neglected social services have led to a birth of a new marketing concept, Societal Marketing. Societal marketing concept is a marketing management philosophy that underlines that satisfying customer needs effectively and efficiently while achieving organizational goals is not enough. The idea [of societal marketing concept] is that the organization should determine the needs, wants and interest of target markets and deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that maintains or improves both the consumer’s and society well- being. ” (Kettle et al. 2005) Consumerism Consumerism stems from the idea that the marketing system should be efficiently serving consumer wants. Consumerism is “an organized movement of citizens and government agencies to improve the rights and power of buyers in relation to leers. (Kettle et al. 2005) Consumerism underlines that the buyer has the right to be well informed of the product, protected against questionable products and marketing practices, and the right to influence products and marketing practices, for example by being able to propose ingredients to products. Environmentalism Environmentalism is a movement that is concerned with the effects of marketing systems to environment. Environmentalism is “an organized movement of concerned citizens and government agencies to protect and improve people’s living environment”.
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Kettle et al. 2005) Environmentalism questions whether the costs of serving consumer needs and wants are too high. The latest environmentalism wave is “environmental sustainability’ which refers to the idea that companies should seek sustainable ways of producing profits. This could be achieved by utilizing new environmental technology, preventing pollution, underlining sustainability in strategy, and by product stewardship; expanding the company responsibility of the product to its whole life cycle.