Basics of Marketing - Kotler Philip

Citizens' actions on marketing regulation

Since some people view business as the source of many economic and social evils, from time to time there are massive social movements in order to curb it. The two main anti-entrepreneurial movements are consumerism and the movement for environmental protection.


American commercial firms were attacked three times by an organized movement to protect consumers. For the first time, the consumer movement arose at the beginning of the century and flared up under the influence of rising prices, Epton Sinclair's disclosures concerning the state of affairs in the meat industry, and scandals over patented medicines. The causes of the outbreak of the second wave of consumer movement in the mid-1930s were the rise of retail prices in the midst of the Great Depression and another scandal in connection with medicines. The third wave of consumerism rose in the 60's. By that time, consumers had become more educated; Goods have become more complex and potentially more dangerous; Widespread discontent with American institutions; John Kenneth Galbraith, Vance Packard and Rachel Carson, in their books that strongly influenced public consciousness, accused the big business of squandering and machinations; 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; The congress investigated the activities of a number of industries; And finally, many problems with new strength were raised by Ralph Nader, who appeared on the stage of public life.

Since then, a lot of consumer groups have appeared, a number of laws have been passed that protect the interests of consumers. The movement of consumers has spread internationally, gaining a special power in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. So what is the consumer protection movement?

Consumerism is an organized movement of citizens and state bodies for the expansion of the rights and influence of buyers against sellers.

Among the traditional rights of the seller:

1. The right to offer any product, any size and external design, provided that it is not a threat to health or safety, and if it is, then offer it with proper caution and proper control measures.

2. The right to assign a price of any level to the goods provided that there is no discrimination among similar categories of buyers.

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

4. The right to use any advertising appeal about the goods, provided that, by its nature and execution, it is not deceptive or fraudulent.

5. The right to offer any incentive programs for purchases.

Among traditional buyer's rights:

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

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

3. The right to expect that the goods will function in strict accordance with the seller's allegations.

When comparing these lists of rights, many come to the conclusion that the power is mainly concentrated in the hands of the seller. Of course, the buyer may refuse to purchase the goods. However, according to critics, he does not have sufficient information, is insufficiently educated and insufficiently protected to be able to make reasonably sound decisions, dealing with highly sophisticated sellers. Advocates of consumer interests require consumers to provide the following additional rights:

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

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

6. The right to influence the goods and marketing methods in the direction of increasing their contribution to the increase of the "quality of life".

Consumers have not only rights, but also duties to protect themselves, without delegating this to anyone else. A consumer who believes that he was treated in bad faith can restore justice in several ways, including a letter to the company's president or the media, contact the federal government, state agencies or local institutions, and sue in small claims.