Ethics and social responsibility

A former part time employee of JC Penny has claimed that the management retaliated when he complained that the company was charging full price for items on sale as well collecting sales tax on nontaxable items (Reingold, 2015). Though he complained to the management, no action was taken rather his manager retaliated.

The relevant facts here is that the company was collecting sales tax on nontaxable items and charging the customers full price for items on sale. As an ethical person, Blatchford complained about the matter to top management. He received emails that the matter was examined and will be addressed. However, his manager retaliated all the same. It was very unethical for the company to collect sales tax on nontaxable items (Reingold, 2015).

This kind of a scenario has a bad marketing implication on the company. It has brought to right the unethical things the company was doing. Customers will certainly lose trust with the company’s products.

The ethical issue involved in this article is collecting sales tax on nontaxable items. It is unethical to tax nontaxable items. The governed has made the items nontaxable for the sake of the people not to benefit the company.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) statement of Ethics addresses this kind of an issue. The statement states that marketers should embrace ethical values. JC Penny in this case has not embraced ethical values. The company has in no way enhanced customer confidence in the marketing integrity. It has reduced the level of confidence customers have on the marketing strategies of companies.

From a marketers perspective, the company should generate counter strategies to avert the attention from the case. The company can start by refunding all the unethical taxes to the customers. In addition, the company should publicly apologise to the customers as well as to the employee who complained about the issue. The investigation reports unto how this issue came to be should also be made public. The company should act in a way that shows that what happened was not intentional.

From a marketing perspective, I have learnt that embracing ethical behaviour in marketing is important. It helps one to build long lasting relationships with the customers, which improves sales. It also improved the confidence customers have on the company as a whole.



Reingold, J. (2015, March 23). Exclusive: Whistleblower files claim against JC Penney. Retrieved February 29, 2016, from

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