Drucker made his point thus, “that if after twenty years of marketing rhetoric consumerism could become a powerful movement proves that not much marketing has been practised. Consumerism is the shame of marketing (Drucker P. 1973: 64 – 65).
Before proceeding, it is advisable to define consumerism to relate it to Drucker’s opinion. Consumer can be described as price, performance and quality consciousness among the buying public, as indicated by consumer council, consumer’s associations and others includes criticism of misleading or unjustified advertising, claims, especially, in the USA” (Jefkinsf 1973 : 20).
According to Philip Kotler: put simply, consumerism is an organised movement concerned citizens and government to enhance the right and power of buyer I relation to sellers what Drucker, is trying to put across by calling consumerism the shame of marketing” is that if the marketing concept were really practiced by marketing organizations, there would have been no need for organizations to be formed specifically to fight for the right of consumers, rights which a marketing oriented economy would have needed no reminding or twisting of the arm no matter how mild to guarantee.
But the question is, would customer right organization and consumerists ever back off even when much consumer’s rights are guaranteed? It is a fact of human life that we will always strive for something better, (No matter how much guarantee is given to consumer rights, there will still be those who are not satisfied) the problem is not consumerism per-se consumerism would not be considered the “shame of marketing”.
There is, however, a second more disturbing question about the marketing concept one that question it’s validity rather that its practice, many criticism have come out with articles which essentially question the validity of the marketing concept. Article have appeared in the USA with such titles as, the faltering marketing concept and societal adaptation: A new challenge Lantance P 1971 5460).
These articles essentially raise the question of whether the marketing concept is any longer an appropriate organization all goal in an age of environmental deterioration. Resource shortage, explosive population growth, worldwide inflation and neglected social services.
Marketing concept is a philosophy that holds consumer satisfaction as the central focus of all marketing activities. It upholds the sovereignty of the consumers in directing the flow of product we and marketing process. It enjoins that consumers wants and needs be the starting point for product and marketing planning.
Consumer protection is increasingly becoming a topical issue in Nigeria. The Nigerian consumer is constantly abused but has permanently remained unresponsive to various forms of trade malpractices dished out by sellers and producers here, in Nigeria marketing is still being practiced in isolation of the marketing concept. Consumer rights have been ignored in what Nwokoye (1981) called seller’s market in Nigeria. The consumer are still not organised to protect their right. Henry, Assael (2nd Edition, page 6721) is of the opinion that the consumer movement has failed to establish the countervailing force to big business which the labour union established for it’s workers. The reasons for the failure being that consumer are difficult to organised and represent because of the diversity of their interest the result if that they are still in a disadvantaged position in relative to the seller or producers.
Many laws have been passed to improved the lost of the consumers, but they remain violated and consumer still remain at the mercy of producer and seller. The consumer is viewed as the weaker of the two forces and requires the intervention of a third part/government to survive. The forces against the consumer in Nigeria include ignorance, poor education lack of interest and willpower etc.
Ignorance is as a result of high illiteracy level in Nigeria. But it is noteworthy that even the educated ones may know their right but lack the will power to protest (Moneke 1980).
The free enterprises economy also is not favourable to most consumers. This is because in a free enterprise system it is believed that survival of the fittest is the name of the game to arrive this situation, various governmental and organization have made noticeable effort to protect consumers wherever they may be for instance, the late U.S president J.F Kennedy in his declaration to the U.S congress in March 1962 gave four basic consumer rights. Namely:
a)The right to safety
b)The right to be informed.
c)The right to choose and
d)The right to be heard
The (IDCU) has added four more rights of consumer.
1)The right to satisfaction of basic needs
2)The right to redress
3)Right to consumer education
4)The right to healthy environment.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents iv
Basis of Consumer Protection 4
Marketing Concept on Consumer 6
Consumer Protection in Nigeria 11
Some Forms of Consumer Protection in Nigeria 14
Some Laws That Enhancing Protection 17
BASIS FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION
As was pointed out earlier, allegations of corporate abuses in the market place have prompted for the call for more laws and for consumer protection. Such allegations are wide, varied and overwhelming, ranging from deceptive advertising messages, adulterated products to improper packaging and labelling and so on.
The consumer is seen as a hopeless victim of the highly professional modern business. The objects of their manipulation, bornbard with a stream of advertising messages which are highly persuasive and sometimes, misleading and untrue products which the consumers are exposed to are sometimes injurious and all too often do not conform with the claimed performance on the label.
For instance, the leading and challenging soft drink industries have from time to time engaged in aggressive promotion without giving a host of what happens to the consumers. It will be recalled that not quite long the Diabetic Association of Nigeria stopped one of these industries from continuing it’s promotion because of the adverse effect the high sugar intake has in the body of the consumers.
In the open market the consumer is confronted with bewildering array of brands and sizes of products which makes rational decision impossible. Large economy. Sizes sometimes prove to be more expensive per unit of a products than smaller sizes products quality fall while price keep moving up. It is noteworthy that some products are effectively bags of mystery. They do not reveal their ingredients, or indicates their proportionate significance in any way which would for example, enable the nutritive value to be assessed.
These development have given rise to increase fearing for consumer protection. As Okeke (Onah 1979) observed – consumer protection has not previously been viewed as a highly important element in marketing strategy for it generally has not been considered to figure a strategically in the consumer purchasing decision. However, times have changed the present day consumer is more sophisticated and will not be satisfied with half-hearted efforts and promises. Unlike those in the past, he is likely to compare promises and performance and if no satisfied take action accordingly.
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