Great State Wheat Flakes Can't Be Beat

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Supplemental/Examination Cases

The use of a case for exam purposes can help the instructor understand a student’s depth of understanding of the material. Points can be taken off if they fail to identify the ethical issues and important stakeholders or justify their decision relative to their stated moral philosophy base. To help you with this exam type we have included three cases that can be used for exam purposes.


Great State Wheat Flakes Can’t Be Beat*
Betty, who has been employed for three years as a copywriter for HK&M, a small advertising agency specializing in consumer packaged goods, has been feverishly working for the past week on a new ad campaign for Great State Wheat Flakes, a regional breakfast
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Any resemblance to real companies, situations, or persons is coincidental.

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Supplemental Case 1: Great State Wheat Flakes Can’t Be Beat*


several other such implied superiority claims she had recently seen, realized that it was, indeed, a popular technique. Steve reminded Betty that there is a distinction between deceptive advertising, which creates false impressions and misleads a consumer acting reasonably, and “trade puffing,” which is exaggerated praise of the product (e.g., Almost Home cookies are the “moistest, chewiest, most perfectly baked cookies” ever; “Nestlé makes the very best chocolate”). Puffery is viewed as acceptable in a society of the superlative. Consumers are assumed to see through the exaggeration or at least engage in a “willing suspension of disbelief.” He explained to her that whereas deceptive advertising is illegal, the Federal Trade Commission, which monitors national advertising for accuracy and fairness in claims, views puffery as legitimate. “What’s more,” Steve concluded somewhat sarcastically, “using your line of reasoning, Betty, we shouldn’t advertise parity products at all, since all brand advertising is designed to create a brand distinction in the buyer’s mind. Advertising is necessary to differentiate yourself from the pack of imitators. And it helps a small, underdog brand like Great State get a leg up on its big, deeppocketed competitors. Betty

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