Carolina Pad and the Bloggers Case

Institutional Affiliation
Carolina Pad and the Bloggers Case
The Dilemma
The dilemma presented in the case is whether Carolina pads should fund
the bloggers or not fund them for their online promotional package. The
case study involves the ethics of paying the bloggers with money and
products or not to pay them for their service. The bloggers are
confident that the service they offer is the most appropriate package to
promote the products provided by Carolina pads (Lawrence & Weber, 2005).
They are confident of their service of reviewing the Carolina Pad’s
products which expose their information into the online community more
that just the normal advertising and traditional promotional packages.
Therefore, based on this aspect of their job, paying them will provide
Carolina Pads with a fair return on the money spent even if it is less
that $1000.
On the other hand, of the dilemma, Carolina is considering the ethical
concerns of funding the bloggers by evaluating their position in terms
of business standards and ethics. They are not conventional journalists
and may be viewed as just online infomercial experts. Carolina is also
concerned whether paying the bloggers, cash to provide this service is
ethical enough from the perspectives of business standards (Lawrence &
Weber, 2005This side of the dilemma also brings into perspective of
whether bloggers are real journalists by profession and whether they
should be treated and accorded same ethical considerations with
professional journalists.
In this case, Carolina has made the assumption that the bloggers can
provide quality and worthy product reviews for promotional gains.
Therefore, Carolina made an assumption that the reviews and the bloggers
work and services will provide a return for the money paid. In making
the payment to bloggers, Carolina will be making an assumption that the
expenditure is not financially significant enough to offer even if the
bloggers will not have performed their tasks well. On the other hand, if
Carolina does not pay the bloggers, she will be making an assumption
that bloggers are not professional promotional service providers. If she
pays them, she will be deciding that they are professional service
providers just like journalists.
Available Alternatives
You have three alternatives in regard to the dilemma. First, she can pay
the bloggers for the service they provide and give them the products to
review for the promotional purposes. This alternative has the advantage
of giving her a new way of promoting her products to the online
community. In addition, the alternative gives Carolina a chance to enjoy
diverse product representations, especially in conferences where the
bloggers will be attending. This alternative also provides Carolina with
a cheaper way of promoting her products which lead to cutting of costs.
This can reflect on her earnings by increasing profits in addition to
increased sales.
However, paying the bloggers has the disadvantage of taking the risk of
trusting the marketing of her product’s to bloggers she hardly knows.
This means that she will be giving professional authority of marketing
her products on online platforms to bloggers she has not reviewed their
performance and professional standards. Lawrence and Weber (2005) argue
that, professional and ethical standards are a main element of due
diligence to consider before a prudent business person accepts an offer
especially when touching on organizational products and functions. In
this case, the organizational function in question is marketing and
promotion that she is considering entrusting to bloggers and blogger’s
conferences.
The second alternative is to ignore the bloggers’ request and to avoid
any transactional commitments with them including payments. This
alternative has the advantage of reducing her ethical risks in dealing
with the bloggers. In addition, it avoids the financial burden of
including the need to provide products to bloggers to review. However,
the alternative has a disadvantage of losing out on the benefits that
could be experienced of the bloggers were as good as they propose. This
is because it is a new marketing strategy for Carolina and she could be
missing out several marketing and promotional gains that the bloggers
provide.
The third alternative is for Carolina to consult a professional internet
marketing consultant with legal knowledge on the consequences of either
of her dilemma alternatives. This has the advantage of getting updated
information on the issues relating to the decision to be made. It also
gives a change to learn from a neutral perspective. However, the
alternative has the disadvantage of an additional cost burden to be paid
to the consultants.
Recommendation
I highly recommend that Carolina takes the advice of the bloggers and
pays them for the promotional packages. This is because it gives her
business a perceived mileage in terms of exposure that can lead to
increased sales. Since the cost consequence is not significant enough to
disrupt her financial planning, she should dedicate some resources and
also products to the bloggers. In terms of ethics, she should consider
the bloggers as online marketers who are out to promote business on the
online community, despite the feeling that it is not ethical to
collaborate with them. More specifically, I recommend that Carolina
allocates an informed staff to handle the bloggers` requests.
Reference
Lawrence, A., & Weber, J. (2005). Business and society: stakeholders,
ethics, public policy.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University
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