Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large (American Marketing Association, 2013).Marketing ethics is a set of moral values and standards which pertain to marketing. Responsible companies will operate and regulate their marketing activities into compliance with the marketing ethics while those irresponsible one may not.
Marlboro, the largest selling brand of cigarettes in the world, is made by Philip Morris International (PMI). It launched a series of new marketing campaign, which is called “Don't be a maybe”, aiming at young people across 50 countries in 2011. PMI tried to promote its products with advertisements that try to persuade the youth to smoke. For example, a poster in Switzerland showed a wild young woman on a high parapet overlooking a city as the sun sets and displayed a caption "A Maybe never reached the top". Another billboard in Germany shows the picture of a young girl with a cigarette in hand with the caption “Maybe never wrote a song”. Each advert in the "Don't be a Maybe" campaign ended with the command: "Be Marlboro" (Boseley, 2014). Certainly, Marlboro and PMI have violated marketing ethics in terms of deceptive promotion, cultural pollution and breaching societal marketing.
The posters designed by Marlboro showed young people apparently acting in