- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
However, not a few marketing practitioners believe that irrespective of a brand’s strategy for market expansion and dominance, ethics and corporate governance should not be relegated to the background as is presently being alleged by one of the operators in the nation’s alcoholic beverages market against another frontline brewery operating in that market segment.
For instance, it is on record that the Nigerian Breweries Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc, have for long been calling the shots in this market that recorded, a total of N430million last year, as revenue.
Perhaps, the need to keep up this revenue profile is beginning to force some of the players in the industry to adopt marketing tactics that run contrary to the principle of sound business practices.
Recently, Guinness Nigeria Plc, had accused its major competitor, the Nigerian Breweries of de-merchandising attacks on hotels, bars, beer parlours and outlets branded with its (Guinness Nigeria) promotional kits in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State.
In a press statement issued by the company’s public relations firm, the brand had taken Nigerian Breweries to the court of public opinion over the conduct, which it described as putting lives and properties at risk, while stressing the need for necessary actions to be taken by the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
The action, which it claimed started out in Wukari where owners of bars, hotels and other recreational outlets in the area were attacked by Nigerian Breweries representatives, it added was an in-road to the ongoing programme by Nigerian Breweries tagged “Perfect Outlet”.
The aim of the programme, it alleged, was to ensure that only Nigerian Breweries brandings materials are visible in major outlets across the region.
According to Guinness Retail Development Manager in Wukari, Omamemo Obaroh, who clained to have witnessed some of the incidents, Nigerian Breweries representatives in company of some hoodlums had ruthlessly attacked bar owners in Wakari and vowed to inflict injury on anybody who tried to stop them from carrying out their de-merchandising campaign.
These alleged de-marketing strategies employed by Nigerian Breweries, according to Omamemo, sends very wrong signals to the community of loyal consumers who may soon fall victims of these actions.
Besides, another key strategy, said to have been adopted by Nigerian Breweries is to offer inducements or ‘attractive’ incentives to retail outlets stocking Guinness Nigeria products in order to dissuade them from continuing to do so.
These inducements vary depending on a number of factors including the size of the outlet or its location. It often involves Nigerian Breweries giving out extra cartons or crates of its products free on a weekly basis to the outlets in return for them making Guinness’s products ‘disappear’.
This is in tune with its marketing exclusivity agreement with bars and hotels owners stating that all Guinness products must not be seen in the outlets of the second party and attaching handsome inducement to co-opt them into the agreement.
“Though, it may seem they are not forced into buying the strategy but it is obvious that the incentives involved greatly influence indirectly the decision making of these retailers, which ultimately see them infringing the choices that consumers would have loved to make over what they buy and what they do not buy (buyer decision-making process),” it was alleged.
It is legal to have exclusivity rights with distributors, but having exclusivity rights with retailers infringes on the rights of the consumers to choose, as he does not get the products he want.
Brand analysts see the practice of crowding out a competitor using this method of de-marketing as going totally against the grain of business ethics. While they believe that aggressive marketing in order to enhance brand visibility is permissible and is indeed the norm across the world, they argue that any tactic adopted by a brand to gain undue advantage over its competition are clearly unethical.