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Ma Earth Skincare Tries to Stay Natural Mini Case

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Tiffany R. Laughlin

Professor Marc Hamilton

MGMT 56030

10 January 2016

MA Earth Skincare Tries to Stay Natural Mini Case

        Question 1: To first understand what ethical issue is at hand, one must understand what ethics is. Ethics distinguishes between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In the business world one may have to outweigh the other. Sometimes that may mean a company is not going to be completely ethical if the profit is not being maximized. (Bateman) That is what happened in this case. MA Earth is a skin care company that promised to use all natural ingredients. They came out with a new line called Ore Essentials. It is a new product line that set up a contract with a tribe living in a remote area in Amazon. MA Earth skincare told their customers that they set up a contract with a tribe in a remote village and the people of the tribe would grow and harvest this special ingredient called orellana. The promotional campaign and message they used was that with MA Earth paying this small tribe, they could keep their small town up and running and MA Earth could keep using this special product in their new lipsticks, foundations, eye shadows, etc. What was unethical about this situation is the company did not follow their promotional campaign since the tribe is not primarily farmers and there are not that many orellana trees in the village. Heather then found out the company was actually using an inexpensive dye instead of this special ingredient. (Bateman) The only ethical claim she did find out in the companies marketing campaign is that the company was still sending tens of thousands of dollars every year to the tribe. (Meesiripeyratorn) They provided a school and health clinic to the tribe in order to stay healthy and preserve their culture and languages.  The ethical issue at hand is that the company was lying to all of their customers who thought this product was all natural. That is how this issue was not ethical in the long run. As a manager, Heather found herself in a conflict of an ethical issue. She knew the company was doing right by supporting the tribe but the company also wasn’t abiding by their statement of using “all natural, sustainably grown or mined”. The tribe basically got paid in exchange for their image. This isn’t exactly unethical but it could be better.

Question 2: In order for MA Earth to create an ethical climate they would have to change their campaign. They either need to state that they receive a certain amount of orellana and limit the products it goes into since in the village they are supporting there is not enough of it to use in all their products. They can also not make it about the product and just make it about the tribe and company as a whole. Instead of using this campaign they could just use a certain percentage of sales from a certain product goes to the tribe. It’s great that they are supporting this tribe but it is not great that they are lying to all of their customers saying this new special product line is all natural. In order for this company to stay ethical, they need to focus on messages and campaigns they can deliver. In the long run this product didn’t even do that great anyways so why not scratch the product and help out the village in a different way. I also think their needs to be some sort of checks and balances in this company. If the higher ups are the ones who are making promises they cant keep to keep the brand looking good, then maybe someone else should be in charge of this aspect of the company. The steps that need to be taken are to first, understand all of the moral standards. Then they need to define all the problems that a customer and company would have with this campaign. Next, the need to determine the economic outcomes, consider the legal requirements and evaluate the ethical duties. Next the new ethical solution needs to be talked about, enforced and carried out. If MA Earth decides to carry that solution out then the company will be more ethical in the end.



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