Eckerd to End Unsolicited Drug Promotions

Discussion
Jul 11, 2002
George Anderson

Eckerd Corp. has agreed to obtain express permission from customers before sending them marketing material on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The corporate policy change is part of a settlement agreement between the chain and the Florida attorney general’s office, which investigated whether Eckerd breached customers’ privacy and engaged in deceptive trade practices by sending unsolicited promotions.

Eckerd agreed to disclose when any marketing materials, including refill reminders and information about competing medication, are funded or prepared by drug companies. In addition, Eckerd will contribute one million dollars to endow a chair in ethics at the Florida A&M School of Pharmacy.

Although attorney general’s office has jurisdiction only over Florida, Eckerd agreed to change its policy nationwide. Florida’s attorney general, Bob Butterworth says he hopes the drug store chain “will serve as a national model for other companies.”

The Florida attorney general’s office said it intends to hold other drugstore chains to the same standard and is examining their practices.

Moderator Comment: Is corporate talk of values-based management a smokescreen? Can nice guys finish first?

We’re pretty sure the American public has gotten the corporations are ethically bankrupt message. The retailing industry, unfortunately, has made numerous contributions to this perception.

Anderson’s Guide to Better Management

Rule #1: It is the difference between what you say and what you do that will always land you in trouble. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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