Corporate Fraud in Marketing: Business Practices and Advertising Content
Ralph S. Foster Jr., Suzette M. Jelinek, and William I. Sauser Jr.
Caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware -- points to an expectation of deceit or unfair dealing inherent in the treatment of the buyer by the seller. However, David Ogilvy, a noted advertising executive, proclaims that caveat emptor has given way to caveat vendor -- let the seller beware -- because of zealous regulation of marketing activities.1 What both caveats ignore is that buying and selling are merely part of the process of marketing that, in and of itself, is not deceptive or unfair to either party.
Ogilvy states, "Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things."2 Marketing, of which advertising is a single element, is a complex process that includes a number of related functions from a product or service's production to its ultimate receipt and consumption by a customer. Throughout the steps from production to consumption the marketing process itself functions the same regardless of the product -- and whether deceptive practices considered as fraud are involved.
Thus, recognizing fraud in marketing is difficult because it can occur throughout or at any point during the marketing process -- or by any of the individuals or entities involved in the process. The customer, indeed, may have been defrauded, but by whom and at what point? If a customer is sold an intentionally defective toy does the fraud lie with the
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Publication information: Book title: Corporate Misconduct:The Legal, Societal, and Management Issues. Contributors: Margaret P. Spencer - Editor, Ronald R. Sims - Editor. Publisher: Quorum Books. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 149.
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