React to the “Advertising” case below
At your company, a bottler of natural spring water, the advertising department has
recently launched a campaign that emphasizes the purity of your product. The
industry is highly competitive, and your organization has been badly hurt by a
lengthy strike of unionized employees. The strike seriously disrupted production
and distribution, and it caused your company to lose significant revenues and market
share. Now that the strike is over, your company will have to struggle to recoup lost
customers and will have to pay for the increased wages and benefits called for in the
new union contract. The company’s financial situation is precarious to say the least.
You and the entire senior management team have high hopes for the new ad
campaign, and initial consumer response has been positive. You are shocked, then,when your head of operations reports to you that an angry worker has sabotaged one of
your bottling plants. The worker introduced a chemical into one of the machines,
which in turn contaminated 120,000 bottles of the spring water. Fortunately, the
chemical is present in extremely minute amounts—no consumer could possibly suffer
harm unless he or she drank in excess of 10 gallons of the water per day over a long
period of time. Since the machine has already been sterilized, any risk of long-term
exposure has been virtually eliminated.But,ofcourse,the claims made by your new ad
campaign could not be more false.
List all of the stakeholders involved in this situation. Do any stakeholder groups
have more to gain or lose than others? Develop a strategy for dealing with the
contamination. How much does a company’s financial situation determine how ethical
dilemmas are handled?
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