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While attending the University of Akron, Yuna Richardson had a sales internship with a large radio corporation. Her job focused on selling advertising. To find new business, she was advised to look for small and local companies that hadn’t thought of advertising on the radio. The company’s informal philosophy for its sales staff, as she learned from others on staff, was, ‘Do the best for us, not for the client.’
Yuna struggled with the company’s philosophy. The radio station was asking her to convince family-owned restaurants and other small business owners to advertise with them. The station was willing to do anything to make a profit. Yuna knew that these family-owned restaurants and other targeted companies shouldn’t be interested in radio advertising (e.g., high cost, no ROI measures, etc), but she was told to convince them anyway. To her, this philosophy was just dishonest. Yuna was also told to “use whatever incentive, whatsoever.”
She had a target to reach and, as a low-ranking member within the company, and Yuna didn’t voice her concern about the business practices to any of her superiors. With the lofty quotas they set, she felt she had no choice but to use their unethical practices. Besides, she needed sales experience and a good reference to put on her resume to be a marketing executive in the future. What would you do if you were Yuna?
– Think through the ethical dilemma and identify all components as objectively as possible
– Consider options
– which option is the most ethical
– How can the option be implemented
– What are the consequences of your decision
 
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