Social Responsibility in Marketing: A Proactive and Profitable Marketing Management Strategy

By A. Coskun Samli | Go to book overview

4 The Myth of the Equal Opportunity Consumer

A. Coskun Samli and William C. Wilkinson


INTRODUCTION

Consumers are not equal; what is more, they never will be equal. However, it is desirable to think that one day all consumers will have equal opportunity. At the present time, equal opportunity is strictly a myth. It is obvious that as the society becomes more complex, vulnerable consumer groups are affected more. Some consumers, to begin with, do not have equal opportunity to optimize their purchase decisions and purchase behaviors. There are hardly any direct or indirect forces or agencies to enhance the equal opportunity component of American markets. If uninterrupted, existing trends and conditions are such that the myth will continue and conditions, particularly for certain groups, will get worse. The myth of the equal opportunity consumer is illustrated in Exhibit 4-1. As can be seen from the diagram, increasing monopolies, increasing societal complexity, inadequate information, misuse of resources, excessive short-run orientation, and decreasing competition have a negative impact on American consumers. However, four special groups are particularly influenced adversely: minorities, the less educated, the elderly, and the frail.

Even though in America there are more claims about having freedom and being free than in any other country in the world, the claims fall far short when consumers are considered. This is not saying that America represents a system of slavery or a despotic

-51-

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Social Responsibility in Marketing: A Proactive and Profitable Marketing Management Strategy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Exhibits ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • References 4
  • 1 - Socially Responsible Marketing Is Good Marketing 5
  • Summary 19
  • References 20
  • 2 - Social Responsibility: a Historical Perspective 21
  • Introduction 21
  • Summary 36
  • References 38
  • 3 - Redirection in Social Responsibility 41
  • Summary 49
  • 4 - The Myth of the Equal Opportunity Consumer 51
  • Summary 62
  • Appendix the Elderly and Equal Opportunity 63
  • 5 - Distorted Risk Management as It Affects Underprivileged Consumers 69
  • Summary 80
  • References 82
  • 6 - Why Ethics Do Not Work 85
  • Summary 94
  • References 95
  • 7 - Social Responsibility from a Consumerism Perspective 97
  • Summary 111
  • References 113
  • 8 - Developing Consumer-Friendly Products 115
  • Summary 124
  • 9 - Developing Consumer-Friendly Services 127
  • Summary 141
  • References 143
  • 10 - Developing Environment-Friendly Products 145
  • Introduction 145
  • References 158
  • 11 - The Changing Economic Power Structure and Marketing 159
  • Summary 168
  • References 169
  • 12 - Marketing Efficiency versus Marketing Effectiveness 171
  • Introduction 171
  • Summary 179
  • References 180
  • Epilogue 181
  • Selected Bibliography 187
  • Index 195
  • About the Author 199
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