He nevertheless does not understand that the subscriptions were promoted through lies which the football fans were fed. With the lies and in retrospect of the scenario presented by the actors who were posing as football fans, the text subscription service was promoted. The true essence of ethical marketing is to use the tools of marketing and promotion in a creative way and not to exploit the consumers. Stealth marketing mars the true spirit of marketing as the consumers are exploited without them being aware of something being promoted. Goodkind also goes on to say that it is okay for Sneeze to build a promotional campaign based on lies as there are already a lot of unethical practices happening in the field of marketing. However, this cannot be an excuse as each marketer and each individual must be responsible for his/her own actions. Moreover, Stealth Marketing hides the true essence of the value of a brand which should be promoted. For example, if an individual is hired to generate false word-of-mouth for a particular brand, it would undermine the true essence of what value a brand actually presents a market and stealth marketing takes the naturalism away from a brand (Langer et al, 2006). 2. What were the football club’s communication objectives? Communication strategy is not only limited to the Above the Line and Below the Line advertising campaigns. It also includes Sales Promotions, PR Activities, Customer Service and Public Selling. The Football club’s primary objective for the text subscription campaign as stated was to keep the football fans updated on the latest developments in the football club. Initially, Premiership football club chose to promote the service through its own literature which may include, but not limited to corporate broachers, flyers etc. It also hired a bunch of attractive girls who would distribute promotional material to the fans. But this apparently did not work. Their main objective of communication was beyond just keeping their fans abreast with the latest trends and progression going on at the club. It was to promote the text subscription service itself. Eventually, Sneeze was hired which communicated the message, encoded in a stealth message of a person being fired because of using a particular text subscription service, and getting the actual feedback in the form of increased number or subscriptions and an unnecessary feedback of getting the customer signing a fake petition. The message actually did promote the service as the audience selected itself was football fans. The objective of this communication and the one adopted overall was to inform the customers about a particular texting subscription and to generate a significant number of sign-ups for the text service. The reason for communicating the message was therefore to affect the attitudes and beliefs of the audience towards the texting service in question. Secondly, the campaign which was designed by Sneeze was in response to Premiership football club’s instructions and initial failure to attract enough sign-ups. The campaign did not highlight the brand of Premiership Football Club as a major influencer but instead, the actors would pull out a piece of
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Marketing Ethics: Psst! Have you heard? 1. What are the ethical issues in relation to stealth marketing? Ethics can be defined as moral principles and values which an individual, an organization or any other entity display through their conduct (Smith et al, 1992). In the case of stealth marketing, Sneeze, a marketing agency which was hired by Premiership football club, deemed it ethical if it planted paid actors in different pubs and bars located around the ground to promote the text subscription of the football club…
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