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Moral, ethical or just good business?

Professor Steve Carter, Professor of Marketing

Faculty Blog

In a previous article we looked at the behaviour of supermarkets and the apparent ‘rip off’ behaviour by them of their milk and other foodstuffs. But we all know it does not end here.  Are we seeing the advent into Marketing of the concept of ‘Marketing Seller Hypocrisy’ or in other words, ‘Watch what I say I am doing, not what I am doing’?

Price escalation (Marketing Module 12) has been rampant for years. Witness the fact that designer jeans in US stores are up to half the price of the same designer jeans in UK stores, that the UK banks have had to set aside billions of pounds in compensation for mis-selling loan payment protection insurance (PPI) and that flights and holidays taken out of school holiday season are up to half the price of flights and holidays taken in the school holiday season. Take a week long family holiday in Lanzarote, flying out of London, UK. In February last year, (out of school holiday time) the average family cost was £1720, yet the same holiday one month later (in school holiday time), rocketed to £6339, a whopping increase of 269%! (Source: Daily Mail). At the same time, many of the ‘guilty’ companies are going to great pains to produce reams and reams of documents, and indulging in artful public relations, to stress their ardent and vigilant pursuance of their Corporate Social Practice (CSP) policy. It seems that CSP does not extend to the customer at all.  Moral, ethical or just good business? What do you think?