Not even entrepreneurship is free from the obligation to be ethical when making a profit on a product or service. There are oftentimes temptations to make exaggerated claims and other false advertising marketing to make the sale.
This can be especially true when there is a powerful investor involved as a product is right on the line of making or breaking its spot in the market. The better the pitch sounds, the higher the chance it closes the sale, right?
Appropriate persuasion can be achieved, however, with some marketing “flair” or a sort of showmanship. It can be exhibited while marketing a product or service to accomplish the sales a business owner wants to achieve. These efforts, when made in an ethically conscious manner, can be done with the skill and give an entrepreneur a competitive edge. Sure beats a deceitful advantage!
In the following examples, these brands were caught deliberately misleading their consumers and ended up facing charges of false advertising marketing. These kinds of pitfalls could ultimately ruin the reputation of a brand.
1. Remember hearing about the brand Airborne? Very popular in the 1990s, the orange powdered herbal supplement was being marketed as a supplement that would help decrease the chance of contracting common illnesses such as the cold or the flu. The CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) ran tests to verify the marketing claims and discovered there was no concrete evidence backed by any science to prove them as true. As a result, Airborne paid $23.3 million in order to settle the lawsuit regarding the false claims.
2. Marketing claims were made in 2011 from New Balance about their line of shoes that were supposedly capable of helping you burn more calories than regular shoes. They were said to be able to do this simply by the design and construction of the shoe alone. It was proven in multiple studies that these superior benefits did not exist, in fact, some speculated that the design might have actually led to injury! Every customer of those shoes was paid a $100 refund.
3. Splenda made some big marketing claims in the early 2000s that their product was a “byproduct of sugar”. Their attempts to tempt consumers into feeling safe were debunked by the Sugar Association. They unearthed that the product was in fact a heavily processed chemical compound. The settlement Splenda eventually agreed to was confidential.
Perhaps the strongest point we want to make in this article is to emphasize the importance of researching certain claims for yourself. A claim that is made to consumers promising to help make their life better or improve it in a detrimental way is important to understand. This is both to prevent misuse of the product and properly educate on how it works.
For example, several online retail shops are popping up on the internet and falsely claiming to sell a readily available Coronavirus vaccine. They can fill a webpage with copious amounts of medical information that sounds legitimate, but anyone that buys these fake products is being taken advantage of. Educate yourself before committing to products that can influence your health and well-being, let alone your pocketbook!
The customer always comes first is a good approach not only for customer service, but when considering the ethical interest of your product, service, or message! Delivering an honest message or offer is important for the trust of your brand that false advertising marketing destroys. If you are looking to market your product or service with a competitive advantage in your market, give OCGnow a call today at (904) 600-3600.