I read an article on the internet entitled “The Morality of Marketing the Marlboro Man,” by Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez that discussed the moral issues involved in marketing cigarettes. The article happened to discuss the arguments behind the proposed banning of the cigarette advertisements, why it should be banned and also the opposing arguments. Marketing a product or service is an exercise of the right to freedom of expression, but when this right to freedom of expression causes harm to others, society has a right to restrict this freedom. The side which proposed to ban the cigarette advertisements states that the said advertisements violate fundamental moral rights. It is stated there that marketing of cigarettes could harm the consumers as advertisements induce people to consume cigarettes, which are harmful to the body in nature. They claim that they also use psychological manipulation to deceive consumers into believing that consuming cigarettes would make them more appealing, or they would have a healthy and successful life, etc.
The opposing arguments are also given at the second part of the article as to why cigarette ads do not violate these fundamental moral rights, and why they should not be banned. It is claimed that the right to freedom of expression (as exercised by the cigarette ads) makes the consumer informed about the product or a service. As for the cigarette ads, they provide the consumer knowledge about the harmful effects of cigarettes, provides the consumer materials to make choices. And it is the content of the cigarettes that are harmful, and not the act of advertising itself (Andre, 2009).
As I am in the education field, marketing educational materials are important so that people of all ages would be able to get enough information about education and the importance of education. It would also make them free to choose the materials that are available to them, and help them make the right choices if they are marketed properly — meaning, the right kind of information are provided, like the price, the content of the educational materials, etc. If these educational materials are marketed, the marketers should be able to take into consideration how their marketing should not be able to violate the fundamental moral rights. Marketers have a responsibility for what they sell and how they sell it (Godin, 2009) They should not deceive the consumers about the true content of the education material. They should market the real quality of the materials (for example, if they passed certain standards and the like), and link them to the real effects of using the educational material to their life. If the materials are marketed, the advertisement should show that education would make one successful in life.
ANDRE, C. (2009). The Morality of Marketing the Marlboro Man. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics: Santa Clara University. Website: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n4/marlboro.html.
GODIN, S. (2009). Marketing Morality. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from Seth Godin’s blog. Website: http://sethgodin. typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/08/marketing_moral.html.