Do companies follow ethics in sales promotion offers??


Last day while I was in a hurry picking up yummy food stuffs to put down my ever growing appetite, my eyes hooked on the offer attached with my favorite juice brand..”Buy One Get One Free”… no second thoughts crossed my mind, I bought a bulk of them with a pride that I saved a lot!!! (Perhaps that was what I believed).

But what I found back at home left me devastated…. the juices I bought were about to expire the very next day leaving me wondering how I will finish them all!!

If I experienced the bitterness of promotional offers from supermarket, Nita, a young entrepreneur from capital city experienced it from an electronics company. It was a laptop she purchased at promotional offer that made her to walk all through the hell. The laptop which she purchased at offer price with no less than two weeks of usage started showing those bad faces to her. No option left, she took it back to the shop and was surprised to know she was the tenth person to bring such a complaint.

They asked her to leave back the laptop and will inform once the issue is rectified or else will replace with a new one. It has been four weeks since and no one had turned up yet (that is something hilarious).

However both the incidents made me to think about the ethics followed by companies in sales promotion offers.

We can see that most of the goods kept in supermarkets for promotions are perishables. This is because retailers out of fear of complete loss on sales on products that are about to expire put them under promotional offers.  In case of non-perishable products also the reason is not different with only the difference is that they are trying to get rid of their inventory piles or defective products only to cover up the cost.

The most amusing part of the promotional offers is that the companies that communicates promotional offers fails to turn up or neglect to show up when a complaint is raised against the products sold out under promotional offers. And even if they turn up, they are very keen to rush up to the terms and conditions which, in most cases, are complicated for the customers to mentally grasp. This places the customers as the culprits!!!

According to industry experts, companies are not supposed to run sales promotions for a long time. But unfortunately they run for longer time by changing names and in most cases they are not aware of the legal and ethical guidelines. They are also of the opinion that even though we have code of ethics formulated for different forms of sales promotion offers, they can neither be used to evaluate the contractual relationship between the companies and consumers and nor for measuring whether the products sold under offer represents good value for consumers.

With so many complaints, fears and concerns over sales promotional offers; it is up to the marketers to follow high standards of marketing acts and to ensure ethics are followed in sales promotions. Authorities should also take up initiatives to avoid such unethical practices. Otherwise it will be the consumers who will continue to suffer.


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