The topics stated above have been identified by Tafe SA Business Services (2006) as being the 8 most relevant parts of law that relate to marketing companies (and employees of those companies). These main areas are where marketers are most likely to have legal obligations and encounter ramifications if laws are not followed correctly. This is extremely relevant to my chosen area of study and will serve as invaluable knowledge for my future career. This document contains information from many sources. These include: Tafe handouts, lecture notes, the Internet, books and online databases.
I aim to introduce readers to the basic aspects of law that relate to marketing, and present the facts in a forthright, understandable manner. Section 1: Business Entities a) Visit the ASIC website. Select one of the current news events and discuss the main issues and the outcome. Name of Media Release (ASIC 2006): "New taskforce warning on scams – Delete it! Hang up! Destroy it! " The above media release was sourced from the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) website. The main issues and concerns within this article relate to scams and crimes involving fraud.
In a recent development, 18 agencies from all across Australia and New Zealand united with the shared goal of beating scams and warning/protecting consumers from scam-artists. The article stresses that in order to beat scams consumers must constantly be alert and assertive in relation to possible scams. According to Executive Director of ASIC Consumer Protection, Mr Greg Tanzer, "Crimes involving fraud cost Australians millions of dollars each year. The best protection against scammers is to hit the delete key, hang up, or throw it in the bin.
As a group of regulators, advocates, educators and other consumer protection agencies we see the devastating effects which scams have on people. Our combined experience and knowledge has shown that the best way of combating consumer fraud is to educate people and change their behaviour before they get caught out. " Mr Tanzer also stated in the article that the level of sophistication that scammers are currently operating at is much higher than ever before, and that despite scam-artists' persistence, consumers must not let themselves be lured in.
One of the main issues for discussion is whether or not a taskforce across Australia and New Zealand will prove to be effective enough to protect consumers from the devastating effects of scams. What can be done to bring scam-artists to justice? Unfortunately, according to ASIC (2006), many scams are online operations, often based in other countries and are very hard to trace. This means that if victims identify a scam, either before or after being conned, sometimes they cannot even take legal action against the person(s) because they cannot be identified.
The media release sourced from ASIC tells of an organisation of 18 different parties working to combat fraud. These joint forces are represented on the Australian Government's anti-scam website ScamWatch. According to ScamWatch, all parties within the taskforce claim to be united in communicating with Australian consumers about scams by a range of community, non-government and private sector organisations. This signifies that the taskforce organisations believe that educating the public is the best protection against scams. Many of the OCBA roles stated above relate directly to the marketing industry.
I will outline and discuss the relevant roles. To begin, the first role above states, "Secure compliance with South Australia's consumer laws, including taking appropriate action to enforce the law when necessary. " What is meant by this is that the OCBA makes sure that all businesses and consumers are abiding by current laws , and also dealing with those who do not follow the law. Marketers need to follow laws at all times in relation to the sale and promotion of some products, as they may be considered unsafe and inappropriate for consumers.
The next OCBA role that relates to marketing is, "Educate, inform and advise consumers and businesses on their rights and responsibilities". By this, the OCBA mean that it is their responsibility to let businesses (and marketers working for businesses) know about their rights and responsibilities in relation to consumers and products, eg. if a product is banned, it is the OCBA's job to alert businesses that may sell banned product to remove it from shelves, in order to protect consumers from the product, and businesses from legal action.
An important role of the OCBA which is strongly connected to marketing is "Encourage businesses and consumers to act honestly, ethically and responsibly". Marketers are often reminded of the fourth stage of the Marketing evolution process, 'Societal Marketing'. This is the theory that marketers should act in a socially responsible manner (Rix 2004, p. 10). The major role of the OCBA in relation to marketing is ultimately to protect consumers from harm caused by illegal marketing and unsafe products.