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Social Marketing by Gregg Alpert

posted Nov 5, 2010, 3:22 PM by Gregg Alpert   [ updated Nov 5, 2010, 3:45 PM ]
The ethical issue I want to bring up for discussion is social marketing. I am seeing social marketing all over the place these days. When I worked for a real estate development company we had a dedicated PR person who tried to get us positive press and always make sure people saw our name in a positive light. We wanted to be viewed as a positive force in the community and I know most other companies out there try to generate goodwill as well. However, the ultimate goal was to make our brand standout from our competition.

Today many companies like Pepsi are using digital media and social marketing as branding and marketing tactics to push their products. I'm not sure on legal aspects, but I am sure that cigarette and alcohol companies would be utilizing social marketing if it were legal despite the negative impact of their products. I am not saying that Pepsi is as toxic as alcohol and cigarettes but it did ruin my teeth as a child. 

I think that social marketing can create very positive impacts. It can bring social situations to light, it can raise money for these causes, and it can cause a very real and positive impact. However, is it ethical to use these circumstances as a way to brand your company and push your products? Whatever happened to good old marketing where we were told we could "Be Like Mike" or "It's so Easy a Caveman can do it?"

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