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Marketing Basics - Kotler Philip

Marketing Regulatory Activities

Since some people see business as the source of many economic and social evils, from time to time mass social movements arise in order to restrain it. The two main anti-entrepreneurial movements are consumerism and the environmental movement.

Consumerism

American business firms have been targeted three times by an organized consumer movement. For the first time, consumer movement arose at the beginning of the century and erupted under the influence of rising prices, Upton Sinclair's revelations regarding the state of the meat industry, and scandals over patented medicines. The reasons for the outbreak of the second wave of consumer movement in the mid-30s were the rise in retail prices in the midst of the Great Depression and another scandal over drugs. The third wave of consumerism rose in the 60s. By then, consumers had become more educated; goods have become more complex and potentially more dangerous; widespread dissatisfaction with American institutions; John Kenneth Galbraith, Vance Packard and Rachel Carson in their books, which had a strong influence on the public consciousness, accused big business of wasting and fraud; John Kennedy, in his speech on assuming the presidency in 1962, stated that consumers have the right to protection, the right to information, the right to choose, and the right to be heard; Congress investigated a number of industries; and finally, many problems were raised with renewed vigor by Ralph Nader, who appeared on the stage of public life17.

Since then, many consumer groups have appeared, a number of laws have been enacted to protect the interests of consumers. Consumer movement has spread internationally, gaining particular strength in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. So what is a consumer advocacy movement?

Consumerism - an organized movement of citizens and government bodies for the expansion of the rights and influence of buyers in relation to sellers.

Among the traditional rights of the seller:

1. The right to offer any product, of any size and external design, provided that it does not pose a threat to health or safety, and if it does, then offer it with the proper warning and appropriate control measures.

2. The right to set a price on a product at any level, subject to non-discrimination among similar categories of buyers.

3. The right to spend any amount of money on the promotion of goods, provided that these actions do not fall within the definition of unfair competition.

4. The right to use any advertising appeal about the product, provided that in its essence and execution it is not misleading or fraudulent.

5. The right to offer any shopping promotion program.

Among the traditional rights of the buyer:

1. The right not to buy the goods offered for sale.

2. The right to believe that the goods are safe to handle.

3. The right to believe that the goods will function in strict accordance with the statements of the seller.

When comparing these lists of rights, many come to the conclusion that power is mainly concentrated in the hands of the seller. Of course, the buyer can refuse to purchase the goods. However, according to critics, he does not have enough information, is not sufficiently educated and not protected enough to be able to make reasonably informed decisions when dealing with extremely sophisticated sellers. Consumer advocates require that the following additional rights be granted to consumers:

4. The right to comprehensive information on the most important aspects of the product.

5. The right to protection from dubious goods and dubious marketing techniques.

6. The right to influence products and marketing techniques in the direction of increasing their contribution to improving the “quality of life”.

Consumers have not only rights, but also obligations to protect themselves, without delegating this to anyone else. A consumer who believes that he has been treated in bad faith can restore justice in several ways, including by writing to the president of the company or the media, contacting the federal government, state or local authorities, and file a lawsuit with the small claims court.