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This subject examines the role of marketing in the wider society, beyond its relationship with consumers and shareholders. It looks at the benefits marketing provides, but it also looks at criticisms of marketing in terms of its negative influence on individual consumers and society as a whole. Some of these criticisms include deliberate behaviours, such as deceptive advertising and high-pressure sales techniques, while others are more systemic, such as the promotion of materialism and the destruction of the natural environment. Many of these criticisms constitute public issues (eg. consumerism, climate change), where individuals and consumer groups express their concerns through organised boycotts and political protest. This subject considers how marketers should respond to these criticisms and examines the government’s role in regulating the marketing and society relationship.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Appreciate the variety of social, political and economic forces affecting marketing organisations at the global and local level.
- Identify and analyse current public issues in the interplay between marketing and society, such as advertising to children, junk food, materialism and climate change.
- Critically evaluate the debates around the ethical and social responsibilities of marketers;
- identify the different ethical frameworks for engaging in those debates; and understand how marketers can respond to calls for ethical and social responsibility.
- Apply the above learning to real world cases and situations.
Students are invited to develop the following generic skills through the activities designed into this subject (essay, group presentation, participation in tutorial discussions, note taking and participation in lectures); critical thinking about societal and ethical issues in marketing settings; oral and written communication; problem solving and collaborative learning; and synthesis of data and other information.
Last updated: 16 June 2020