Benji Watson graduated near the top of his class in the Liberty University MBA program, and he was recruited by several national corporations. One of those corporations was New Gen Health Sciences. New Gen manufactures and sells various vitamins, health foods, and health supplements; it was recently featured in Fortune Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America.
Benji was invited to attend a weekend-long “Get to Know Us” event at New Gen’s headquarters in Seattle, WA, with all expenses paid by New Gen, an invitation that he agreed to accept.
While sitting in the Richmond, VA, airport, awaiting his flight to Seattle, Benji decided to do some online research about New ...view middle of the document...
(This is unethical. There is a possibility that the forced sales are against UCC contract laws for the sale of goods. Contracts, including contracts for the sale of goods, cannot be made under duress. The vendors would have to prove duress). The site argued that these practices had helped to drive many of the distributors into bankruptcy in slow economic times. (Very unethical)
When Benji arrived at New Gen, he was met by a corporate recruiter and was given a New Gen Polo Shirt, custom New Gen Apple iPad 4, and a carrying case loaded with various promotional literature and DVDs. (This was a promotional move to sway the candidate.)
At lunch, the recruiter talked up the company and how smart, young people like Benji were joining the company in droves and rapidly climbing up the management ranks and earning “big bucks.”
When the recruiter asked Benji if he had any questions or comments, Benji mentioned what he had read about the company sending researchers around the world in search of new beneficial health resources. The recruiter laughed and said, “We have the greatest P.R. people in the corporate world.” Benji asked if that meant that the article was inaccurate and the recruiter said, “Well, our P.R. people do make a habit of taking promotional photos in exotic locations, but of course most of our products are actually developed in our laboratories right here in Seattle.” (This is illegal and unethical. It is considered false advertising because the public is seeing the same advertisements and making product decisions based on those ads.)
Benji mentioned that he had read about New Gen’s industry leading ethics code and the recruiter responded, “Well, of course you have to have something like that these days in order to attract investors and pacify government regulators. Our lawyers made sure that they covered all the bases.” (See my comments below regarding this – particularly the issue regarding government regulators.)
Benji mentioned having come across the “gripe site,” and the recruiter said, “Don’t worry about that. There are always disgruntled ex-distributors looking to blame others for their own incompetence. Our lawyers will have that site shut down within the week.” (This is very unethical and is also discussed in detail below.)
Later, at a company “Pep Rally,” the CEO put on a flashy display complete with 3-D video and company cheerleaders. He talked about how much he really cared about people and about making their lives better; however, when an infant that had been brought to the event by another attendee started crying, apparently upset by the noise and flashy displays, the CEO harshly told the infant’s mother to please show some consideration to the rest of the people there and take the child out of the room. (Baby crying can be an annoyance, but the CEO handled this very unprofessionally and shows his moral character.)
The CEO then went into a form of “corporate sermon,” telling the attendees, “Brothers and...