The paper tells that marketers have often been critiqued for using selective marketing strategies aimed at targeting a vulnerable group. The criticism is even worse when the product being sold is harmful to the society. Other than the inordinate criticism, little has been done to deter such practices. Cigarette related harms have raised global concerns over the recent past. Although cigarette smoking and addiction have reduced in some parts of the word, the problem remains rampant in developing world such as in Africa. Majority of people in developed countries are informed on the negative health effects of addictive smoking cigarettes. Additionally, governments in most developed countries have enacted laws to prohibit marketing strategies that may result in sale of cigarettes to young people particularly children. However, most third world countries such as in Africa have no laws to prevent sale of cigarettes to young people. Cigarettes products generate a lot of revenue and third world countries often allow reckless importation and marketing of cigarettes. In most third world countries, the importation as well as market of cigarettes is legal and there are no laws prohibiting sale of cigarettes to young people. This raises the ethical question regarding sale of products such as cigarettes, which cause health problems, addiction, and death. In recent years there have been considerable concerns concerning marketing of products considered harmful to humans. Following reduction of consumption of tobacco products such as cigarettes in developed world, tobacco firms are now targeting the young people in Africa. In the attempt to attract these young people, the companies have been adjusting their marketing strategies to ensure that they entice young people to use tobacco products. One strategy that the companies use includes selling of cigarettes as single stakes. This is attractive to the young people from the poor African countries who cannot afford to buy the product in packets. It is appropriate to use attractive strategies in marketing to attract customers. However, this should not be the case if the marketer is aware of negative implications associated with use of a product. Moreover, targeting a vulnerable group is even more unethical. In case of British American Tobacco, there has been cases where children as young as 11 years have been involved in both smoking and selling of cigarettes, Free Markets and Marketing Marketing is an essential component for the success of any business. Companies have marketing strategies that go beyond advertisements. The marketing policies entail identifying the target market for a given product and applying market strategies likely to entice the particular market. Therefore, marketing strategies are designed to ensure that the advertisement is received and understood by the target market. However, companies are required to be responsible in the way they convey their message. This should be through use of marketing policies that are truthful and reflect ethical standards. Although the main aim of most companies is to maximize on profits, the public is increasingly demanding that companies act responsibly and ethically in their activities. In marketing, ethical issues take different forms. They include the advertisement or promotion methods used in marketing a product.
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This paper will critically discuss the ethical implications of marketing cigarettes to young people in African countries. It is evidently clear from the discussion that cigarette is one product where marketers have practiced target market selection frequently…
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