Marketing to Inner-City Blacks

Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (1):1-18 (1998)
Abstract
PowerMaster was a malt liquor which Heileman Brewing Company sought to market to inner-city blacks in the early 1990s. Due to widespread opposition, Heileman ceased its marketing of PowerMaster. This paper begins by exploring the moral objections of moral illusion, moral insensitivity and unfair advantage brought against Heileman’s marketing campaign. Within the current market system, it is argued that none of these criticism was clearly justified. Heileman might plausibly claim it was fulfilling its individual moralresponsibilities.Instead, Heileman’s marketing program must be viewed as part of a group of marketing programs which all targeted inner-city blacks. It is argued that those marketers who target this particular market segment constitute a group which is collectively responsible for theharms imposed by their products on inner-city blacks. This responsibility is reducible neither to individual responsibility nor to a shared responsibility. It constitutes a dimension of moral responsibility to which marketers must pay attention
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M. Hyman (2009). Responsible Ads: A Workable Ideal. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):199 - 210.
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