1/ I think one of the social criticisms of marketing’s impacts on individual consumers is the price. Because of the expensive costs of developing such as “long lead times, the need to enlist the help of nutritional experts around the world, and the need to develop products that appeal to the local population’s tastes” (598) Vitango and Nutristar have high price that is out of reach of people in those poor target countries such as Botswana and Venezuela. Moreover, fortified products are also criticized for containing large amount of harmful substance such as fat and sugar that could lead to obesity. For example, high consumption of Nutristar when combined with McDonald can cause health issues to its customers as those products contain a large amount of fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol.
2/ In my opinion, political power is a social criticism of marketing’s impacts on society. Big companies want to promote and protect their interests. As a result, they don’t want to lose profit if they offer the product at a reasonable price, so Coca Cola and P&G want to work with the governments for favorable tax and tariffs.
However, either those companies are distrusted or those governments either cannot afford or don’t have sufficient resources to educate their people about fortified food, makes those companies seek for help from non-profit organizations such as GAIN to help lobby for lower tax rates and promote their products by giving those governments money to create more demands. Although fortified food is promoted to deal with deficient nutrient, they cannot completely stop malnutrition; as a result, they create false wants for people in those countries.
Through non-profit organization, big companies educate target population about fortifies food and other beverage drinks, but not educating people about nutritious eating habits which is the real needs for those countries. Nutristar sold with McDonald’s happy meals does not help fight nutrition deficient, but it creates worse eating habit with fast food, which can lead to obesity or other health problem.
3/ Products such as Vitango and Nutristar are not considered enlightened marketing. First, those products ignore societal marketing, they see societal problems such as starvation or political corruption in poor countries as opportunities to promote and sell their products. Instead of educating people in those countries about nutritious food, those companies try to promote their products’ benefits. Vitango and Nutristar are pleasing products which deals temporarily with nutrition deficiency; but in the long run, it can stop malnutrition. When customers depend on supplement products, their interests such as health are affected.
In addition, many big companies place its mission in products and profits over broad social terms. In Vitango and Nutristar case; such fortified products is to create an image of the company in order to earn the market and increase profits by selling other products such as snack or juices in the future. 4/ In my opinion, the development and marketing of fortified products are unethical. As discussed above, the development and launching of fortified products are just a small part of a bigger marketing plan.
First, those companies try to allure people in poor countries by helping them deal with nutrition deficiency with fortified products, but that is just the base to selling other products. Besides, through non-profit organizations, they educate those people about their products’ values rather than educate them about the need of nutritious eating habits. Secondly, through funding and lobbying with the local governments, those companies can have influence over the market and the governments that could lead to many serious problems in politic.
4/ In my opinion, in order to succeed with product such as Vitango, Coca Cola must consider many factors beside the price. First, in poor countries where malnutrition is a major concern, it must place societal missions ahead by helping non-profit organizations educate people about the needs of nutritious eating. Besides, they should educate people about fortified food as a supplement, not a substitute against nutrition deficiency. Last but not least, Coca Cola has to find a solution for the price problem; they have to adjust the price, so Vitango is purchasable in poor countries.
When the product is accepted and well-know, the company can earn a lot of profits without conducting unethical actions. Another thought about the case, although Vitango and Nutristar are criticized because of many ethical issues, I think that is a trade-off. To satisfy stockholder’s expectations, those companies always have to find a way to maximize profits, and that profits have to be traded with some critics. From the corporate viewpoint, those critics may not cost the company a lot, so there is no reason they would not conduct such negligent actions.
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