WHO ARE THE MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS IN THE DEBATE ON THE HEALTH WARNINGS ON CIGARETTE PACKS? B. WHAT ARE THE MAIN ETHICAL ISSUES INVOLVED IN THE DEBATE? C. IF YOU WERE RANDALL HEDGES, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
This assignment is to be completed in teams of three students. It consists of four (4) questions, all of which must be attempted. (If it is unavoidable, teams of four will be considered).
The assignment must be submitted before the above due date to avoid any late penalties. Please make sure you follow the usual assignment presentation guidelines especially those relating to presentation of written work, late policy and academic integrity.
Forming Teams: You must discuss the selection of teams with your lecturer, who may decide to allocate you into teams or he/she may decide to form teams using a random process. Any work which has been copied or shared between teams will result in a Fail grade for all students concerned. So please make sure that the answer to this team assignment is your own work and not copied from any source.
Please note that a word limit exists for all questions. You must indicate your word count at the end of each question. Submissions that exceed the word count by more than 10% will cease to be marked from the point at which that limit is exceeded.
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QUESTION 1: 15 marks (Word limit: 750 words)
Big Business Tobacco (BBT) is a large Australian producer of tobacco products including a market-leader brand of cigarettes. With the continuing development of Asian countries such as China and its move to a market-based economy, the company has made the decision to sell its cigarettes in this large market from the beginning of next month. The cigarettes will be sold in packs of 40.
Mary Bender, marketing manager, is discussing the design of the cigarette packet for the Asian market with Randall Hedges, the company’s public relations manager. Having agreed on the basic design of the pack, Hedges raised the issue of whether to include the normal health warning on the pack, which has to be displayed under Australian law. He emphasised recent medical findings which predicted many hundreds of thousands of deaths from cigarette smoking in the next few years, particularly in the developing countries.
Mary Bender was strongly opposed to including a ‘health hazard’ warning on the packs destined for parts of the Asian market. She explained: ‘In this business it is the bottom line (i.e. profits) which matters — we have to think of our shareholders. BBT stands to lose a considerable market share to competitors if it includes such a warning. Besides, it is not a legal requirement in many Asian countries to display a health warning on cigarette packs. If Asian law is subsequently amended, then we will be one of the first to comply. Besides, the managing director supports me on this one.’
Hedges expressed a final opinion: ‘The company could be better off in the long term by being seen to be acting with corporate responsibility, and demonstrating some concern for its consumers. Besides, such warnings have not been detrimental to the company’s performance in Australia, where health warnings have been common for many years.’
A. Who are the major stakeholders in the debate on the health warnings on cigarette packs?
B. What are the main ethical issues involved in the debate?
C. If you were Randall Hedges, what would you do?
QUESTION 2: 10 marks (Word limit: 500 words)
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