Please help with this assignment. Please refer to attachments. Highlights are listed below.

MEMO: Concerns about the Marketing and Sales Proposal
To: Marketing and Sales Departments
From: Legal Department
Subject: Legal and Ethical Concerns Regarding Proposal to Increase Rewards Memberships in Low
Income Markets
Executive Summary
We appreciate the sales and marketing teams’ desire to expand the rewards membership programs into
low‐income markets and their consideration of potentially mutual benefits to company profitability and
the communities we serve. However, there are two legal requirements and three ethical concerns we
need to address before taking this community outreach proposal further.
The Two Legal Requirements
Because the program you are proposing makes specific claims about the benefits of membership and
presumably captures personal data, we begin with a discussion of two legal requirements:

  1. Truth in advertising
  2. Data collection and privacy
    Truth in advertising.
    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires that all advertising be truthful and be supported by
    evidence.
    Pursuant to that, we require that ABC Rewards Membership marketing materials must meet these
    requirements drawn from our interpretation of the law.
    Requirement 1: We need to be precise in making statements about the program’s benefits.
    Requirement 2: Commercial speech must be non‐deceptive.
    Requirement 3: Advertisers must be able to substantiate direct or implied superiority claims.
    While the plan we reviewed is high level and does not detail a complete advertising campaign, some of
    the themes outlined in the “Ad Lines” section appear to fail the test of these requirements. Please
    address these.
    Data collection and privacy.
    Because this will be a national program, we must ensure compliance with the most restrictive laws on
    data collection and privacy. Those laws are found in the state of California. According to the Office of the
    Attorney General of California, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) secures new privacy
    rights for California consumers including “the right to know about the personal information a business
    collects about them and how it is shared and used, the right to delete personal information collected
    from them (with some exceptions), the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information, and the
    right to non‐discrimination for exercising their privacy rights.” As such, we need to ensure we are not
    collecting any more data than is needed for the purposes of contacting consumers and shipping
    merchandise. We must make it convenient and accessible for consumers to opt out of data sharing.
    Even if we are in full compliance with the CCPA, we are particularly concerned about marketing your
    program in high schools to children under the age of 18. While high‐school aged youths are among our
    biggest customers, they are not legal adults and the contractual terms a rewards membership program
    would entail, not to mention the data you would collect, would put the schools in an awkward position.
    Schools are mandated to protect the privacy and data of their students, including those who are 18.
    If you plan to market a rewards program that supports local high schools, you are required to come up
    with an alternative approach that does not require the kind of membership that students under 18 must
    purchase and that they must share sensitive data to use.
    The Three Ethical Concerns
    Beyond legal requirements, there are also three ethical concerns that need to be addressed.
  3. Direct marketing to low‐income populations
  4. Transparency in language
  5. Collection and use of consumer data
    Direct marketing to low‐income populations.
    The populations you are targeting are financially vulnerable and should be approached only if the
    company can add value to their lives. It is essential that the company does not come across as practicing
    predatory marketing. ABC will need to build trust and show that the membership program will not be
    another revenue‐generating opportunity that disadvantages these consumer groups by making
    promises of paybacks to individuals and communities that do not come to fruition. Furthermore, we
    need to ensure that rewards do not encourage excessive non‐discretionary spending among individuals
    who are struggling just to make ends meet.
    An essential aspect of ethically marketing to low‐income populations is ensuring that the program is
    culturally, economically, and socially appropriate to the market. As such, we need to demonstrate that
    the goals of the program align to the areas these consumers desire to improve. At the same time, we
    must consider that low‐income populations are extremely diverse and not everyone will share the same
    values.
    We know, for example, that in our current middle‐ and upper‐income rewards program markets, 27.8%
    of loyalty members never redeem their points. They enjoy special discounts on purchases that we
    sometimes apply to products for card members, but they don’t apply their points. 67% of these non‐
    redeemers are on auto‐renewal plans, which means they choose to pay for yearly memberships they do
    not fully use. And 12% of our non‐redeeming members who do renew do not make enough purchases
    with built‐in discounts to recoup the cost of their membership.
    We do not believe the same under‐redemption and under‐use practices should occur in a low‐income
    market. In addition to the ethical issues, we risk negative public relations and other reputation hits if our
    rewards memberships end up costing low‐income customers more than they redeem.
    Another area of concern on this issue is your plan for rewarding local business owners for signing up
    members. The fee for processing payments is standard business. The incentives for signing up members
    can lead to abuses. For example, if a store employee lives in the neighborhood and that employee gets a
    customer to join the rewards program, why does the owner receive points on his or her rewards
    membership account? And why do store owners get a free membership? We have similar concerns on
    this front around giving discounted memberships to influential high school students.
    Please suggest changes to the issues we listed above. It is important at the very least that customers in
    this market break even on their memberships and that incentives for signing up new customers are
    ethically applied.
    Transparency in language.
    It is the responsibility of the company to ensure that all consumers understand what they will receive
    from their rewards memberships. Standard language and exchange for middle‐income and high‐income
    populations will need to be adjusted for the low‐income population that may have had fewer
    educational opportunities or less experience with managing personal finances. All terms need to be
    reviewed with low‐income populations to ensure their understanding of what the terms indicate and
    what their obligations are. Care needs to be taken to clearly articulate the standard “fine print” in
    culturally and educationally appropriate language without being condescending or misleading.
    We are particularly concerned about the complexities of the pro rata coupon plan described in the
    memo. While we understand a contract may make it clear that the method is in use, which would shield
    us at least from a deceptive practice frame, we are concerned at the complexity of the method.
    We are also concerned that language in the proposal about plans for donations to local charities and
    schools is vague about how precisely that would work. We know that details are to be worked out, but if
    you do not have a clear and transparent vision here, you risk not being transparent on rollout. What will
    the contributions be based upon? How will they be tracked and reported? What kind of cost will these
    be recorded as for TBL purposes?
    Please address the pro rata coupon issue and the need for clarity around how charitable contributions
    will be determined.
    Collection and use of consumer data.
    Beyond legal requirements, it is critical to ensure that the collection and use of consumer data does not
    create vulnerabilities for the low‐income populations. Behavioral profiling is a key issue related to
    vulnerable populations. It enables companies to offer goods at different prices to extract the most
    revenue from everyone—a concept known as price discrimination. Given the existence of such
    disreputable practices, we must consider that some low‐income populations may feel targeted and may
    not wish to engage in data collection practices many companies use. As such, the company must use
    culturally and linguistically appropriate marketing and must design messaging that considers the
    socioeconomic barriers faced by the low‐income populations.
    We mentioned earlier our concerns with data in the context of pre‐adults, but we are also concerned
    specifically about the plan to ask parents (and grandparents, we assume) for information about their
    children’s or grandchildren’s ages and birthdates as part of the membership sign up.
    The minimal amount of information you need to sell, issue, and renew a membership rewards card and
    number to a consumer is their name, age, address, and if they wish to provide a credit card or ACH
    checking account number for auto‐renewals.
    Please review the birthday dates idea. It is okay to ask for this kind of additional information, but you
    must explain how that information will be used, protected, and whether we will share it with other
    product lines in the company or third parties.

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