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Ethical Theory Vs. Nestle Marketing Tactics

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Essay title: Ethical Theory Vs. Nestle Marketing Tactics

According to Immanuel Kant’s ethical theory, an act is only morally right if we can will it to be a universal law of conduct. This ideal is what Kant called the “categorical imperative.” The categorical imperative has been successfully achieved when all of the following conditions have been met: the act in question is possible for everyone to follow; all rational people must be able to accept the act as if they were receiving the treatment themselves, and last, the act can never treat people as means to ends.

In following Kant’s conditions, if everyone used deceptive marketing practices, as Nestlй did, ultimately no one would believe in any product being marketed or those marketing the product. It would essentially nullify marketing altogether, and possible hurt the economy. The logical conclusion to Kant’s first condition is: no, not everyone could practice the same marketing tactics as Nestlй because the deception would be so widespread that marketing itself would be irrelevant. Second, if another company used these same tactics on the Nestlй Company itself or its employees, it’s very doubtful they wouldn’t walk away feeling anything less than deceived and/or insulted. No rational human being has a desire to be deceived or taken advantage of, so it is logical and rational to assume that no one who practiced these marketing tactics would have wanted them used upon themselves. The last condition to be met to achieve Kant’s categorical imperative is that the act itself can never treat people as a mere means to an end. This means that you can not use or disrespect people in any way for the purpose self-interest or obtaining any other specific goal. Nestlй did not respect anyone else’s goals or desires but their own. Using blatantly deceptive marketing practices to persuade people to buy products that they do not fully understand how to use, only to further Nestlй’s company objectives, is a very clear example of treating people as a means to an end, therefore defying the last of Kant’s conditions. After analyzing Kant’s specific requirements of the categorical imperative, it can definitively be concluded that Nestlй’s marketing tactics are considered morally wrong.

The Act Utilitarian theorist would essentially compare all logical and probable consequences to an act for everyone affected, and then compare them to each other as well as any alternatives, to determine if an act is morally right or wrong based on the consequences that bring about the greatest amount of happiness. In comparing the probable consequences, the Act Utilitarian must be unbiased in choosing the greatest amount of happiness, that is, he must be careful not to choose what gives him the greatest amount of happiness, but the overall positive value. The act itself is not morally wrong, but based on the possible outcomes it should be deemed wrong or right. Should Nestle have used the Act Utilitarian theory prior to practicing their marketing tactics on third world countries, instead of being set in egoism, they would have concluded that what they had planned to do was ethically wrong.

The positive values of using these marketing tactics would have been: greater profits to the Nestle company, worldwide

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