Stealth Marketing : The art of deceiving consumers
Abstract: Bachelor Thesis in business administration, school of economics at Linnæus University, marketing, 2FE07E, Spring 2010 Authors: Viktor Pettersson and Markus Svensson Instructor: Mosad Zineldin Title: Stealth Marketing The art of deceiving consumers Background: Ethical aspects in promoting products are a concern when new methods are developed in order to reach consumers with marketing messages. Stealth marketing is one method developed and is based on not disclosing or revealing the true relationship to a marketing message. Furthermore, what impacts stealth marketing can have on brand image is questioned. Purpose: Create an understanding for the importance of ethical considerations when using stealth marketing; furthermore determine if that could affect the brand image. Delimitation: This thesis is focusing on the ethical aspects of stealth marketing, the legal aspects are not being considered. Method: A quantitative research method was used in form of a survey with 249 respondents. The questions in the survey were based on theory and the results from the survey were analyzed in a program called SPSS. This was analyzed through three propositions and then compared to theory. The conclusion is answering the propositions, and either accepted or falsified. Results, conclusions: It has been identified that consumers’ consider business ethics to be important. However, it did not have enough impact to make consumers’ boycott the products. It is also concluded that stealth marketing methods have a small negative impact on the brand image. Suggestion for further research: A recommendation is to determine which techniques that are considered to be unethical business behaviour. Recommendations for further research are to focus on where the business ethical boarders are trespassed, and when a boycott of products occurs. Another interesting aspect for further research would be to examine if there is ethical differences and acceptable behaviour by a company, between an older and younger generation.
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