International Corporate Responsibility Series

Volume 2, 2005

Perspectives On International Corporate Responsibility

Laura Radulian
Pages 329-357

Marketing of Harmful Products

The paper focuses on the rapidly evolving concept of “harmful products” and its connection with marketing practices. It examines (a) products generally recognized as harmful, and (b) innocuous products that are sometimes (unintentionally) transformed into harmful ones by marketing activities. We indicate how the effects of these activities depend on individual perceptions as well as the norms of social and business ethics. We advocate the creation of marketing codes of ethics for particular product categories, as well as the dissemination of product information that can link the ethical codes with individual values. We illustrate these concepts with a case study of the fragrance industry and olfactory marketing.