Tag Archives: ethics

Dunkin’ Donuts Will Get Rid of Foam Cups by 2020

We know Planet Earth is in trouble with changing weather patterns, and a significant problem with plastics polluting and harming the oceans. The planet deserves the respect, and need the help, of all citizens and corporations.

One significant problem faced around the globe is the increased use of foam packaging, which has often been cited as a source of many environmental problems. A number of environmentally-focused organizations have challenged global companies to reduce or eliminate their use of polystyrene.

One company heeding the call is Dunkin’ Donuts. The company recently announced its plan to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups throughout its global supply chain by 2020. The coffee giant will replace foam coffee cups with double-walled paper cups. The majority of the company’s international operations have already begun using paper cups; New York City and California will be adopting the new cups this year.

The move to eliminate foam cups is a significant change in the company’s supply and distribution chains. This is no small matter – there are more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone – that’s a lot of coffee cups!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
  2. Show video about Dunkin’ Donuts switch: https://youtu.be/3kAP01BeRo4
  3. What are the SMART objectives set by Dunkin’ Donuts?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop five SMART objectives for a product of their choosing. Have the goals reflect various strategies including growth, sustainability, profitability, etc.
  5. Discuss the objectives. How would the objectives change if a different strategy was used?
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Sustainable Brands (9 February, 2018). Dunkin’ Donuts to eliminate foam cups by 2020.

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Stereotypes and Sports: Chief Wahoo to be Eliminated

Names and brands represent a significant investment for all organizations, no matter if they are corporations, private organizations, higher education, or athletics. Brands and logos are often loved and worn proudly by consumers. However, just as often a logo can be seen as offensive to individuals and groups.

Case in point: The Cleveland Indians recently announced that it will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo beginning in 2019. Major League Baseball’s position is that the logo is no longer appropriate. Some team supporters view the logo as traditional (Chief Wahoo has been used since 1948), while opposition characterizes the name as offensive to Native Americans.

Cleveland is not the only athletic team that has been criticized for its logo. A few years ago the University of North Dakota officially dropped its Fighting Sioux nickname in favor of the Fighting Hawks. However, other teams, such as the Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Braves (with the “Tomahawk chop” motion), have resisted pressure to change.

Some team supporters view the logo as traditional (Chief Wahoo has been used since 1948), while opposition characterizes the name as offensive to Native Americans. Regardless, logos have the power to motivate consumers, or to repel them.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show a video about the issue faced by the Cleveland Indians: https://nyti.ms/2Guw0H2
  2. What are the essential elements of this issue?
  3. What have been the experiences of other athletic teams in similar situations?
  4. Have students research the number of athletic teams with nicknames that could be detrimental to a race or ethnical group.
  5. What is the impact of a new logo on sales of apparel?
  6. How important is brand to athletic teams?

Source: Waldstein, D. (29, January, 2018). Cleveland Indians will abandon Chief Wahoo logo next year. New York Times.

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Are Followers Real or Fake?

Marketers are under increasing pressure to increase a brand’s number of followers. Of course, marketers want the followers to be real and involved, but what if that isn’t possible? Well, there are companies that sell followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. However, all is not as it seems. Many companies sell the names, profiles, pictures, and other details of real users, but with some variations, and unbeknownst to the actual user who is being impersonated. The result: fake users are sold to many companies to help increase the tweets, retweets, likes, etc.

All social media platforms seem to be infected with fake users. According to a recent article in the New York Times, nearly 15% of Twitter’s active users (48 million) are actually automated accounts that simulate a real person. And, in November 2017, Facebook stated to investors that it has twice as many fake users than it had previously estimated, bringing the count to roughly 60 million fake accounts.

The fake accounts are known as ‘bots’ and can be used to build audiences and influence opinions. The bots are purchased for the purpose of increasing the followers, and thus the influence of the person or brand purchasing the bots. Bots can be programmed to post at a scheduled time, monitor trends and post as needed, and amplify clients’ accounts by following, retweeting, and like tweets.

Which would you rather have: real, engaged followers or bots that are not engaged?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Begin by having students read recent news articles about fake users. Here is an article by the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/100000005704904.app.html?emc=edit_ta_20180127&nl=top-stories&nlid=65703977&ref=cta
  2. Why is this an issue in digital marketing?
  3. How does the topic of “fake users” impact the marketplace?
  4. Should companies/brands “buy” followers? Why or why not?
  5. How valuable are followers in digital marketing?
  6. What would you do if told to increase followers? Would you buy them?
  7. Have students go online and research “how to buy followers.” What are their findings?

Source: Confessore, N., Dance, G., Harris, R., & Hansen, M. (27 January, 2018). The follower factory. New York Times.

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