Posted: August 5th, 2013

Misrepresentation in sales or marketing

            Ethics are rules of conduct that are widely accepted hence govern how people relate, whether on a personal level or in business. One of such ethical issues in business is misrepresentation that mainly occurs in the sales related fields or marketing fields. A misrepresentation is an untrue statement that may be deliberately stated with an aim of gaining customers or it may be unintentional where a salesperson states something they believe to be true without confirmation, which is a careless act. A misrepresentation is also a form of nondisclosure where a sales person fails to disclose vital information in regards to the commodity in question, hence leading the consumer to have the wrong impression of the good or service they purchase. This occurs when the sales person fails to fulfill their ethical obligations to the consumer. Misrepresentation may occur when a sales person is under pressure to meet a set target. There are three different types of misrepresentation in business, that is, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation and innocent misrepresentation. Negligent misrepresentation is the situation where a sales person makes a statement without basis on the truthfulness of the matter hence causing harm to the person relying on such information. Fraudulent misrepresentation occurs where the person gives falsified information while knowing that it is untrue. Innocent misrepresentation however occurs when a sales person gives information believing it to be true according to the last evidence that he had without the knowledge of change in status of the information.



A principle is a law set to govern a certain system, and should be followed. It governs a certain field, for example, truthfulness in marketing. The principal of truthfulness is broken when one practices misrepresentation and there being laws that govern against the vice, it is punishable to discourage other marketers. Norms describe how a situation ought to be rather than how it really is. Therefore, in marketing the norms should be fairness and truthfulness in their dealings.

Egalitarianism is a principal that favors equality among all individuals. Hence, it gives each individual a right to purchase any commodity at equal prices with the others (Gowdy, 1998). This is in line with misrepresentation of price of commodity where different consumers get different prices for the same commodity. This kind of misrepresentation should be avoided in order to create lasting consumers who do not feel overpriced.

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