Section 1: Your Personal Ethics
In no more than 1 page, please articulate your personal ethics statement. This should summarize your overall ethical worldview and its foundations and ethical boundaries in a professional context that you believe are important.
Section 2: Ethical Case: Barrz Soda
Imagine that you are working as a public relations professional whose primary responsibility is managing the image and reputation for a beverage company—Barrz Soda. Barrz’s primary brand is Iron Brew, an intensely popular soda amongst children, teenagers, and young adults. Over the years, the advertising campaigns have become legendary because of their use of humor and image advertising. Iron Brew also has the most sugar per serving of any soda on the market. Barrz Soda, like most beverage companies, also has a range of diet sodas, waters, and other beverages that do not have a high sugar content.
In recent years, Barrz soda has come under public criticism for advertising to young adults, and for the sugar content in Iron Brew. However, as more advocacy campaigns against sugary drinks have grown, there is pressure for Iron Brew to make changes. In the last couple of years they have tried to change the formula to Iron Brew, but the market research has showed that any changes in the flavor are likely to result in catastrophic losses in sales. As it is, sales of Iron Brew remain consistently strong; however, sales in the less-sugary alternatives that Barrz offers have been low.
In the next year, Barr needs to see changes in the public and media narrative about the company to ensure their primary brand is not damaged, but also to promote their less profitable brands. Ideas have been offered about corporate social responsibility (e.g., donations to health-related organizations), promotional campaigns for their other brands, sponsorship of sports teams with their other brands, and development of new brands.
You have been tasked to develop a sketch of an initial strategic plan for the next year that identifies key needs/problems, measurable objectives, and critical stakeholders to engage, and to develop a specific set of ethical principles guiding the strategic plan. This plan need only sketch out the key principles to be considered by the team, but it needs to be delivered quickly, so it should focus on strongly supported core principles, objectives, and recommendations. It is important that you tie in personal and professional ethical considerations to your analysis of the case and recommendations.