Grand Theft Auto Case Study
The organization and its managers acted very unethically. The fact that someone in the organization knew about the hidden explicit scenes and decided to take no action is pretty reckless. It’s also immoral for them to have been so careless as to take the risk of rolling out the game with the hidden explicit scenes intact since the majority of the audiences for the game were teenage boys (CNET, 2005).
Take-Two Interactive should modify the game’s software to remove the objectionable content. This is the best cause of action to take because discontinuing the retail sales and recalling the unsold software would be very expensive for the organization, time-consuming and would damage the image of the organization even further. It would also not solve the problem at hand since there would be a possibility that the software would remain in the wrong hands (Nettavisen, 2005).
Changing the rating for GTA game and prohibiting sales to minors would also not be the best solution for the problem. This is because it would result in poor sales for the game since it’s primary target are the teenagers and not the adults. This would also result in the cancellation of sales contracts by various outlets and distributors who do not deal with adult programs hence limiting the game’s supply.
By modifying the game’s software, you solve the issue of the unwanted access of the hidden explicit content since its permanently removed or blocked (Bowles, Scott, 2005). In the process, you also retain the rating needed to sell the game to its primary targets i.e. the teenagers.
Ethical marketing is more of a philosophy that basically guides all other marketing efforts and less of a marketing strategy. It looks to promote responsibility, fairness, and honesty in all advertising. There are several ethical principles that I believe are relevant to marketing in this case. They are such as;
All marketing communications share the common truth. Take-Two Interactive change of positions simply means and shows that they lacked truth.
Marketing professionals should abide by the highest standard of personal ethics. This is another principle that is relevant to this case since there was negligence on the part of the management of the organization and also the lack of high standards of personal ethics.
Consumers should be treated fairly based on the nature of the product and the nature of the consumer. The product sold in this case didn’t reach its preferred target and ended up exposing innocent children to harmful content meant for adults.
Marketers should comply with regulations and the standards established by the government and professional organizations. Marketers clearly didn’t comply with this.
So as to avoid future problems regarding ethical behavior, Take-Two Interactive should ensure that they follow the stipulated guidelines to the letter. They should also ensure that they comply with all the principles of ethical marketing at all times. They should also ensure that the persons responsible for the problem take responsibility for their actions.
Bowles, Scott. “‘Grand Theft Auto’ gets pulled over – USA Today July 20, 2005”. Usatoday.com. 2005-07-21
Nettavisen.“Nye sex-avsløringeridrapsspill” [New sex revelations in murder game]. (in Norwegian). 5 August 2005
CNET NetworksESRB to investigate San Andreas sex content”. CNET.2005-07-08.