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Socially Responsible and Ethical Marketing Decisions: Selling Tobacco to Third World Countries

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Cateora P.R. & Graham J.L. (2005) International Marketing 12th

ed, McGrew Hill-Irwin, New


Strategic decisions move a company toward its

stated goals and perceived success. Strategic

decisions also reflect the firm's social responsibility

and the ethical values on which such decisions are

made. They reflect what is considered important and

what a company wants to achieve.

Mark Pastin, writing on the function of ethics in

business decisions, observes:

There are fundamental principles, or ground

rules, by which organizations act. Like the

ground rules of individuals, organizational

ground rules determine which actions are

possible for the organization and what the

actions mean. Buried beneath the charts of

organizational responsibility, the arcane

strategies, the crunched numbers, and the

political intrigue of every firm are sound rules

by which the game unfolds.

The following situations reflect different

decisions made by multinational firms and

governments and also reflect the social

responsibility and ethical values underpinning the

decisions. Study the following situations in the

global cigarette marketplace care-fully and assess

the ground rules that guided the decisions of firms

and governments.



In the United States, 600 billion cigarettes are sold

annually, but sales are shrinking rapidly. Unit sales

have been dropping about 1 to 2 percent a year, and

sales have been down by almost 5 percent in the last

six years. The U.S. Surgeon General's campaign

against smoking, higher cigarette taxes, non-

smoking rules in public areas,



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