Responsible Marketing

Recently, our federal government was sued by the tobacco industry for 'forcing' the cigarette manufacturers to apply very revealing, shocking and bordlerline grotesque images on their boxes showing the possible health effects from smoking.

This is a controversial issue that raises the question of responsibility. 1) How much control should the government have over product labeling, 2)What is considered responsible corporate marketing and, 3) Does the consumer have any responsibility?

Government's responsibility
Our government has the right, as well should, to set the standards for label information. This allows for consistency and fairness across industry and competition. What the government requires also provides the consumer with enough information to formulate an educated opinion/decision about the product or service and provide ample warning for potential issues.  But should they be able to cross over the 'text' line and require certain, predetermined graphics? This may be a question between information versus persuasion. Government informs. Marketing persuades.

Corporate marketing responsibility
It is the responsibility of a corporation or small business to post accurate and truthful labeling following the government standards. The marketing should be truthful, not be deceitful. It should not be targeted to the wrong audience. 

Businesses should, in clear conscience, be able to honestly sell their product or service. And if they can't sell it honestly, then there is something not right about the product. And it will eventually fall apart. Because if government doesn't stop you, industry will. Walt Disney will be eliminating marketing of sugary snacks and drinks. Walmart is also issuing restrictions for their vendors and how they manufacture. Cities are implementing taxes and bans. Better the lives of your customers and you will sell. Honestly!

Consumer responsibility
We, as consumers, have the responsibility to educate ourselves on the information that is provided to us, whether by the government or the business.  We should be confident that our decisions/opinions will be based upon factual information. And once we make our decisions, we must accept the consequences of those decisions, not sue everyone who may be remotely responsible. Otherwise, our government will be placing graphic images of rotting teeth on gummy candy packages (or even some kids' vitamins) and hardened arteries on your fast food bag. If there was only a way to sue the sun for a nasty sunburn...

Have fun marketing. But let's watch out for each other.