Does marketing undermine public health?


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the success of marketing efforts by large companies that contribute to public health problems. Design/methodology/approach - The paper discusses current examples of marketing that undermine public health as well as actions of such companies to potentially improve products and ultimately, public health. It offers suggestions on how marketers and public health officials can partner to create a situation where outcomes can be positive for all parties involved. Findings - Current marketing efforts by corporate giants are hurting the public health. Marketers must team with public health officials to help improve public health through the marketing of healthy lifestyles. Practical implications - If marketers implement strategies that can combine healthy products with effective marketing communication strategies, they can remain profitable while engaging in socially responsible activities. Consequently, marketers have much to gain by working with the public health profession. Originality/value - Provides guidance for improving public health by suggesting ways that marketers and public health officials can partner. If such partnerships occur, the population may embrace healthier lifestyles while companies maintain their profitability. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Publication Title

Journal of Consumer Marketing