One of the most interesting “Case In Point” segments I found while reading is the one about Food Lion grocery stores. ABC used hidden cameras to get the inside story of a local Food Lion. The store was selling out of date products and forcing their employees to work off the clock. ABC wanted to get the full story and had their people get hired there. In the end, Food Lion took ABC to court after their sales decline 4.6 billion dollars. Their whole issues ignited the debate of the right use of hidden cameras used my journalist. This “Case In Point” dealt mainly with transparency.
For me I am happy that ABC covered the story, I think that as consumers we have the right to know the EXACT and proper date a grocery store’s food is being packaged. The consumer trusts the grocery store enough to buy their food, the least they can do is be transparent about when it was actually made. One report from The New York Times, quoted Diane Sawyer saying “We want to make it clear that ‘Prime Time’ staged nothing. What you saw on hidden camera is exactly what happened.” In my personal opinion, the public needs to know regardless, this is a serious matter of Food Lion not properly labeling their foods and could of lead to someone becoming very ill. The way I see it is if they are mislabeling dates what else could they of mislabeled, for example ingredients. What if someone had a deathly allergy? I would not trust Food Lion if I went in there today, and this case happened years ago. Their reputation was tarnished over this incident, and without ABC how would the public of ever known? I do not think it is just my opinion, recently I was in the South, where Food Lion typically is, and the person I was visiting drove extra distance to another grocery story because she said that Food Lion was “dirty.” Right before this I remember reading this “Case in Point” and wondering if they two connected in any way, even after all these years.
Company News: Food Lion Stock Falls After Report. Nov. 7, 1992. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/07/business/company-news-food-lion-stock-falls-after-report.html
Plaisance, P. L. (2014). Media ethics: Key principles for responsible practice (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
The Social Network is a film that raises one of the biggest ethical issues of transparency. The film takes viewers in the life of Mark Zuckerberg, who is known for creating the biggest social networking site to date, Facebook. The whole process of how Facebook came to be has been a little foggy (who was responsible for what). What we as an audience knows is that there was a great idea that took off and then many people tried to claim that they deserved the credit for it.
The biggest issue around the movie is who was involved with getting Facebook to the point that it is now, a multibillion-dollar company. The movie takes place in the courtroom six years after Facebook has taken off, while Zuckerberg is in the middle of two different lawsuits. The movie is in a series of flashbacks, while each person tells their story accordingly. Eduardo who is Zuckerberg’s best friend, who is also one of the people suing him, at the time of Facebook’s take off is arguing that he was pushed out of the company and unfairly compensated for his part. The other lawsuit is with the Winklevoss twins who argue that Facebook was their idea the whole time and Zuckerberg went behind their back to excel with it. This here deals with transparency. Mark Zuckerberg was not transparent enough with everyone involved, and instead he arguably went behind many peoples’ back in order to get ahead. In the process of this he is dishonest to his best friend, Eduardo and he leads the Winklevoss twins to believe he is working on a project for them that he is not. Whether Zuckerberg was guilty of all these accusations or not it is very clear that there was a flaw with his communication to others. The transparency was not there leading to secrets and dishonesty amongst everyone involved.
The social network [Motion picture]. (2011). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Privacy is a huge concern in a world filled with people that do not always know they are being watched as they browse the internet. The idea that someone is being watched by someone that may not even be in the same vicinity as them. Social media sites have been known for collecting data, to help better pinpoint advertisements to consumers, the question is when does this become a privacy breach? Cooper in his article Between the Summits actually uses the internet as an example. There are so many dangers to the internet that are by no means limited to data mining. In some ways, companies being able to directly sell to you through Facebook is a good thing, because it makes it more accessible to you as a consumer. I recently downloaded the newest software for my Macbook and noticed when I online shop it now always asks if I want to autofill my credit card information in. I always click the “not for this site” button, as I cannot help but think that might be asking for some credit card fraud. I remember also thinking during this time if the internet always has my passwords and at the same time they are tracking what I am doing and searching, what would the chances of these lines crossing be.
Facebook was definitely one of the bigger companies to start this collection of data (and got a lot of attention for it) as they were trying to make more money. For a while it seemed like every few weeks I would get a notification for a privacy setting change. This makes some consumers question how much information is too much information. I can personally say that as soon as this started happening I started backing away from using Facebook, which in all fairness this was also due to the shift to other social media sites, which as not only a Millennial but also a marketing communication major is pretty important to keep up with. According to Discovery News, online marketers track things such as where you are tagged in a photo, what you share, what friends share, if you are buying something online, or even so much if you put something in your online shopping account and did not proceed to buy it. I can personally related to shopping at Nordstrom, if I put a pair of shoes in my shopping cart and either let it sit or do not buy it, as soon as I log onto Facebook those shoes or ones very similar are one of the first links to come up on my newsfeed.
According to a few different Millennials that I discussed this topic with, they all have a similar view as me. It is nice to have a sense of personalization, but when it is too much? When should I be concerned with my privacy? The good thing for these social media sites is that they are so crucial to today’s world, there is a slim to none chance people will stop using them because of this. One of the Millennials that works at a Public Relations company with me says “Although it is slightly creepy that we are being watched so closely, it is a very useful marketing tool when it comes down to selling me what I want and showing me what I want to see.” This was the general consensus among the younger generation I have talk to. From my view I think it is because Millennials have grown up this way. When asking someone like my mother about this topic (the most active group on Facebook) she is more unaware of it, I think due to not growing up with technology, but when explained the older generations find it more concerning.
Brand loyalty is becoming more and more rare, and with that marketers have to get more creative with how they target audiences certain products. This is just a step in the direction for nuances of marketing and advertising.
Cooper, T. (2008). Between the Summits: What Americans think about media ethics. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 23. 15-27. DOI: 10.1080/08900520701753106