Consumers’ Choice and Companies’ Responsibility

In spite of threats associated with advertising the unhealthy products and goods that can be harmful to people, it is a primary responsibility of an individual to make a reasonable choice and buy those products that are non-harmful. However, even if a person is ready to make a right choice and avoid risks of obesity because of consuming the high-calorie food, for instance, there are other factors that need to be taken into account (Harris, Schwartz, & Brownell, 2009).

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Thus, consumers often cannot afford to purchase products and beverages that are healthy and of the appropriate quality because of their high costs. They choose the low-cost fast food and large portions of high-calorie dishes that can make them forget about the hunger for several hours. According to Grier and Kumanyika (2008), the number of advertisements targeted the African Americans is rather high because of these people’s low incomes and limited possibilities to purchase the healthy food and quality goods. Therefore, consumers often compromise their right of free choice because of other conditions.

In this context, it is important to focus on the responsibility of organizations that need to inform their consumers about risks even when they cannot stop producing harmful products. Still, it is necessary to note that the level of the organizations’ responsibility even higher while discussing the use of promotional activities that affect the vulnerable groups. In their article, Sharma, Teret, and Brownell (2010) focus on children as the vulnerable group of potential consumers who are targeted with the help of vivid images, large amounts of sugar in food, and toys in meals.

Organizations should adopt responsible marketing strategies, the method of labeling products, and other approaches to inform consumers about possible risks in order to provide them with an opportunity to make a choice independently.


Glavas, A., & Piderit, S. (2009). How does doing good matter? Effects of corporate citizenship on employees. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 36(1), 51-70.

Grier, S., & Kumanyika, S. (2008). The context for choice: Health implications of targeted food and beverage marketing to African Americans. American Journal of Public Health, 98(9), 1616-1629.

Harris, J. L., Schwartz, M. B., & Brownell, K. D. (2009). Marketing foods to children and adolescents: Licensed characters and other promotions on packaged foods in the supermarket. Public Health Nutrition, 13(3), 409-422.

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Lin, C. P. (2010). Modeling corporate citizenship, organizational trust, and work engagement based on attachment theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(4), 517-531.

Sharma, L., Teret, S., & Brownell, K. (2010). The food industry and self-regulation: Standards to promote success and to avoid public health failures. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 240-246.

Verschoor, C. (2009). Fraud continues, but so does good corporate citizenship. Strategic Finance, 91(6), 16-19.

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