The Catholic University of America

Marketing and Sales

Product Portfolio

  1. Are there any moral limitations on what we can make and sell, or should we just let the free market decide?
  2. What criteria should we use to decide what kinds of products and services are morally acceptable?
  3. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the production or marketing of toys, video games, or movies that glorify violence or sexual promiscuity?
  4. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the production or marketing of tobacco products?
  5. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the gambling industry?
  6. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the production or marketing of birth control products?
  7. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the abortion industry, either directly, or indirectly as a supplier?
  8. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the production or marketing of defense equipment?

Advertising and Promotion

  1. Does Church teaching have relevance to advertising?
  2. Why are we responsible for our advertising -doesn’t it just mirror societal values?
  3. Is it morally acceptable in advertising to try to “create needs”: to appeal directly to consumers’ instincts?
  4. Is it morally acceptable to use our advertising to attempt to make people feel inadequate if they don’t buy our product?
  5. How can we use advertising in a morally acceptable way?
  6. Is it morally acceptable to advertise children’s products directly to children?
  7. Is it morally acceptable to use advertising to persuade teenagers that they will not be “cool” unless they use our product, particularly if this technique is proving to be very successful for our competitors?
  8. Is it morally acceptable to use any kind of sexual imagery or innuendo in our advertising, particularly if we are in an industry (e.g., underwear, high fashion products, beer) where most or all of our competitors do so, and it seems to be required for success?
  9. Is it morally acceptable to use imagery to differentiate between two competing brands that are functionally equivalent (e.g., colas, toothpastes, washing powders)?
  10. Is it morally acceptable to use members of the clergy or religious imagery to sell products?
  11. Is it morally acceptable to be involved in the promotion of harmless but wasteful or trivial products, if people seem to be willing to buy them?
  12. Is it morally wrong to contribute to a culture of consumerism?
  13. Is there any particular moral sensitivity we should have when advertising in developing countries?

Pricing

  1. What is a just price, and do we have any moral obligation to offer goods at a just price?
  2. May larger enterprises use their size to gain advantage over other businesses (e.g., through pricing practices)?

Sales

  1. Is bluffng in negotiation morally acceptable, either to defend our position or to get a better deal?
  2. May we sell our products or services to an organization that we believe will put them to an immoral use, e.g., printing services to a company that produces pornographic magazines?
  3. May we sell any product or service to an organization that has intrinsically evil ends, e.g., printing services to an abortion clinic?
  4. Is it wrong to target our products and services to certain groups of poorer or more vulnerable customers, where their relatively lower sophistication, lower education levels, and perhaps inability to get credit make them “captive,” and therefore more profitable, customers for us?