Thank the role of lobbying, bribery, unethical marketing and

 

Thank
You for Smoking does a great job showing the role of lobbying, bribery, unethical
marketing and government interference in business.   Lobbying plays a huge impact on the
regulations and laws that are passed for variety of categories.  Though about the cigarette industry, the
message of this movie generalizes with so many industries. This film also does
a great job presenting how business, media and the government interact to influence
the choices consumers make.

Lobbying
skills are essential for a businessman to have. These skills can be defined as
persuasion, negotiation and being diplomatic and respectable in what one says
and how he presents it. Though lobbying, like bribery and unethical marketing,
can be put as shrewd tactics, they are essential to promote a company or
industry and its product. At times, companies will also go to extreme extents
to obtain publicity, like leveraging on the kidnapping in the film. In the
film, Naylor gets kidnapped by extremist who cover him in nicotine patches and
nearly kill him. When he wakes up in the hospital the doctor tells him that cigarettes
saved his life, because no nonsmoker would be able to live with that much
nicotine in their bodies. He later spins this statement and uses it as a
positive thing when interviewed by the media. The company uses the kidnapping
as good publicity and an attempt to gain sympathy. This is a perfect example of
how often public figures and the press attempt to use events, good or bad, in their
advantage to gain sympathy and support for their cause. This is a very common
practice in both business and politics.

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The
film depicts the very real idea of bribery in business. Nick Naylor, the lobbyist
for the tobacco company, pays a visit to the old Marlboro Man, who is dying
from lung cancer. Naylor brings a brief case full of money to bribe the sick
man to stay quiet about the health problems tobacco has caused him. Naylor uses
his negotiation skills to convince the man to keep all the cash. This scene
does a fantastic job bringing up the unethical use of bribery in the business
world. Bribery may be unethical; however, it is a tactic used in the business
world to safeguard their stance over competitors.

The
film also briefly touches base on the nature of unethical marketing to children
and other audiences.  In an attempt to
make it seem like Naylor doesn’t want kids and teens smoking he says that he doesn’t
want the teenager with lung cancer to die, because then they lose a customer. Cigarette
packaging is aimed at teens with the bright colors and design.  That is
why Senator Ortolan Finistirre wants to make it mandatory that all the packages
have skull and crossbones on them to indicate that the substances within are
poisonous. Towards the end of the movie, in front of congress, Naylor states
that most people know that cigarettes can be dangerous, and the Senator rebuttal’s
that the skull and cross bones will be on the package for those who don’t, like
children.  The notion that the tobacco
companies are marketing to children definitely touches on the idea of unethical
marketing. I believe that it is unethical to exploit the fact that children do
not understand that the substances within are harmful and that teenagers at a
young age simply do not care and become addicted, so that by the time they do
start to care about their health, they cannot stop smoking. Going along with
the use of marketing in the cigarette industry, Naylor knows that smoking isn’t
seen publicly as it used to be and convinces his boss that cigarette smoking
needs to been seen as cool again, and the way to do that is to incorporate them
back into Hollywood movies. Movies use to portray smoking as luxurious and glamorous;
this suggests such marketing tactics as product placement in films.  

As
mentioned above, the tobacco company was also faced with the problem of
governmental interference. The senator wants the symbol for poison on every
pack of cigarettes to help inform the public about the harmful effects of
smoking. For a long time, tobacco companies would ignore the effects of smoking
and claim that there was no scientific evidence proving the dangers. When Naylor
testified in front of congress he agreed that cigarettes are harmful however,
said that the people should have a right to choose without government interference.
I agree with Naylor, I don’t think the government should be able to interfere
with personal choices especially if the dangers are clearly knowledgeable. Government
interference presents itself in many industries, such as the three presented in
the film: alcohol, guns, and tobacco.

 

 

 

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