My Lasallian Business Leadership class covered marketing ethics, advertising and digital marketing. So why has marketing ethics become so important these days?
Before, marketing was all about the traditional ways like what we see and hear on billboards and signages, newspapers, televisions, radio stations and other standard methodologies to market a product.
As technology evolves, there have become more ways to sell products digitally. Since the pandemic started, many producers have exploited digital marketing to increase their product exposure and niche.
Though digital marketing has a fair share of benefits to our struggling economy, it has also brought harm and risks, especially to younger people exposed to the internet with limited parental guidance. In this case, is it the responsibility of the sellers and marketers to limit their target market and audience to attract attention? In a way, I believe they are responsible for being ethical and for stopping producing distasteful advertisements. However, ultimately, in the end, the parents are still the one responsible for explaining and guiding their children.
Aside from the risk of digital marketing among the young generation, there are security and privacy issues. Recently, I have received various text messages from companies such as loan offers, credit card companies, insurance, and even political advertisements for which I have never signed up. I believe this has rooted in contact tracing forms we filled up at the malls or different establishments. I observed that restaurants often collect my contact details when ordering food online or through phone applications. My phone inbox has been filled with advertisements and offers instead of personal messages from people I know. I would, if I only had enough time and resources, sue every company using our personal information without consent. Many have been hacked and scammed online primarily due to our private information being collected. These are the consequences of being exposed to the digital world and the usage of evolving technology.
Our security and privacy are at risk, and many have also been forced to read false information online. Some politicians have exploited this tool by hiring online trolls instead of using the becoming traditional ‘digital’ marketing. This has become a next-level strategy to spread false information where these paid trolls act like ordinary people on social media, but they are not.
Fake news has become rampant in the Philippines today, and the only way we can combat this is to voice out the truth and our opinions. The more we become vocal, the stronger our collective voice will become and hopefully wake up those brainwashed by false information through irresponsible marketing.
Has the current administration set us up for a greater downfall in the past six years? We often say that the youth is our country’s last hope, but is that the case? Truth be told that there are many uneducated Filipinos, and the schools have remained closed for the past two years.
Should we assume that our country’s last hope has gone? Not when few of us still believe in the youth. We can only fight misinformation if we continue to stand for the truth. With the closure of the biggest television station in the country and continuous attacks on the freedom of the press, Filipinos are also deprived of appropriate information and forced to consume stories promoted by irresponsible marketing. The reality is that we are moving backward, and I can only hope to wake up from this nightmare.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. He can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.