Primary Message the author is sending to the reader
The author is trying to inform the reader of the differences in perception that exists in ethics when it comes to issues dealing with consumers. The author insists that a consumer’s choice to purchase a certain product does not depend on whether it was ethically produced or not. The author further challenges most of the current surveys, which indicate that most consumers look on the ethical side of product development. The author provides an example of a survey that was conducted to show that if it came down to price and ethics, consumers would certainly purchase a product depending on its price. Most consumers view the responsibility of ethics as the burden to be borne by the government or the company.
The main audience the author is addressing involves large and small corporations, business organizations that are involved in marketing and advertising of products, the government and to some extent consumer organizations concerned with conducting surveys. The author insists that corporations should be aware that cost of increasing products because of ethical standards has a negative effect on the purchasing behavior of consumers. This is because most consumers will want to purchase things or products they can afford hence they end up purchasing counterfeit products. The author is trying to inform the government that there is a need to inform consumers on the need for consuming ethical products. Advertisers, on the other hand, need to ensure that information directed to the consumers reaches the consumers with an effect of influencing their purchasing decisions. The author insists that using current technology may help in influencing the way consumers purchase products.
Support the author provides to the Audience
The author argues that most consumer surveys indicate that most consumers demand ethical products, for instance, cosmetics produced without animal testing and use of sustainable technologies to produce products. However, the scenario is different when the companies offer such products in the market. The author also provides a study experiment that was set up to investigate the true behavior of consumers when dealing with ethics. The study revealed that consumers were aware of the ethical issues, but when it came to purchasing products, the cost of the products had a great influence on the choices they made. Some of the consumers interviewed indicated that most ethical issues were important to the society as a whole, but not on an individual level. Others argued that issues such as those dealing with the protection of the environment were the responsibility of the government. Additionally, the study showed that most individuals would purchase a product based on it functionality features rather than its ethical features.
The author sums up the article by indicating that a lot needs to be done to achieve a situation where consumers will be purchasing products based on ethics. Furthermore, the advent of the internet and e-commerce has enhanced consumption to a higher level. Such technologies have brought about social consumption, which forms a crucial part of a consumer’s life. Incorporating ethics in social consumption becomes a challenge since it is still in the first phases of growth. The author insists that, for the consumer to be involved in ethical purchasing, the consumer has to become a knowledgeable participant and not just a reader of labels. The author provides some of the ways companies and other stakeholders involved can improve and increase ethical purchasing by the consumers. For instance, use of the web and social media.
The author provides detailed information on the state of ethical consumerism. There is evidence provided to indicate that there is still a crisis in the way consumers purchase their products. Additionally most common surveys are disregarded as being ineffective in offering valuable information concerning ethical consumer behavior. The author further provides a detailed study conducted, in a variety of countries, to provide support to his whole argument. I do believe that the knowledge shared by the reader will provide valuable knowledge to the audience in understanding and improving ethical consumer behavior.
Devinney, T., Auger, P. and Eckhardt, G.M. (2011). Value vs. Value. Retrieved from