Case Study: Cultural Norms, Fair & Lovely, and Advertising

2661 Words Nov 13th, 2008 11 Pages
2.1 Is it ethical to sell a product that is, at best, only mildly effective? 1
2.2 Is it ethical, to exploit cultural norms and values to promote a product? 2
2.3 Is the advertising of Fair & Lovely demeaning to women or is it portraying a product not too dissimilar to cosmetics in general? 4
2.4 Will have HLL’s Fair & Lovely Foundation be enough to counter charges made by AIDWA? 4
2.5 In light of AIDWA’S charges, how would you suggest Fair & Lovely promote its product? Would you response be different if Fairever continues to use “fairness” as a theme of its promotion? 5
2.6 Propose a promotion/marketing program that will counter all the arguments and charges against Fair & Lovely and be
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Normally it is the main task of international marketers to use cultural values and norms of an area to promote their products. In India and Asia skin color is a very important and powerful topic. Referring to the caste system, lighter skin colors represent a higher status. When we have a look at the different caste levels we can see the caste of the teachers, scholars and priests then the kings and warriors fol-lowed by the traders and the agriculturists, service providers, and some artisan groups. Another group which is excluded from the main society they are lower sec-tion than the agriculturists, are the so called "untouchables". The lower the cast level the darker is the skin (Böck, 1995). That is the origin of the Indians’ preference for fair skin.
The companies mentioned in the text take advantage of the dark skin of Indian people and emphasize the benefit of having a lighter skin. HLL shows for example in its ad the “fairer girl gets the boy theme” or a dark-skinned girl becoming a flight attendant and be a financial support for the family just by using the fairness cream. The commercial communicates that women can just be successful due to fair skin but not by having special skills or an educational background. The advertisement is delu-sive and pretends that all problems are solved with fair skin.
Although the case is talking about a decreasing number of Indians who think lighter skin is more beautiful, women who “prefer their own complexion” or the worldwide
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