Tagged: deselection

Product demarketing and deselection: How to ban products without the use of regulations

Product demarketing and deselection:  How to ban products without the use of regulations

Part 1:  Product demarketing

Kotler and Levy (1971) define the concept of demarketing as “that aspect of marketing that deals with discouraging  customers in general or a certain class of customer in particular on either a temporary or permanent basis” (p. 75).   Used within its original context, demarketing was mainly a tool used by for profit companies to change demand in very specialized circumstances.  However, Kotler and Levy (1971) did provide an example where demarketing was utilized in the realm of ecotourism and sustainability.  Demarketing has evolved more into being associated as a tool within the context of social marketing.  Kotler (1972) noted this change in a paper published after his seminal work.  Wall (2005) now defines demarketing mean changing consumer behaviors and habits with the aspirations of lessening their environmental impact. 

Product demarketing has evolved from a concept that companies utilize to control demand of a product into a tool that various governmental entities have utilized to control the demand of products and services (Armstrong & Kern, 2011; Beeton & Benfield, 2002; Beeton & Pinge, 2003; Groff, 1998; Medway, Warnaby, & Dharni, 2010; Shiu, Hassan, & Walsh, 2009; Sodhi, 2011; Wall, 2005).  With the change in context, the users of demarketing has also changed.  Governmental entities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have used this tool to change product/service demands or attitudes such as smoking, gun control, alcohol and changing behaviors and attitudes to be more accepting of sustainable environmental attitudes (Gundlach, Bradford, & Wilkie, 2010; Wall, 2005).

 

In examples from the Great Lakes Coal Tar PAH Reduction Project, product demarketing utilized biased messages in order to purposely damage the product coal tar based pavement sealer.  Al Innis from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) stated that “they” have found that product bans are often difficult to get passed at any level of government (Innes, 2013).   

Examples from Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project

            University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center (UW SHWEC)

            UW SHWEC many examples of demarketing coal tar based pavement sealer.  What make this demarketing even more severe is that SHWEC was selectively utilizing the studies that gave the largest negative impact.  Since these were produced in an academic setting, this would be an example of citation and selection biases (Liebl, 2012; University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, 2012a, 2012b, 2012c).  In no way was SHWEC utilizing the body of literature that shows that disproves theories advanced by USGS, MPCA and others. 

            UW SHWEC contacted over three hundred sealer applicators in December 2012 and relayed the following points to customers:

●”toxic chemicals” in the sealer;

●”contains chemicals that can cause cancer”;

●”We encourage you to stop using coal tar containing products immediately”;

●”The Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center is dedicated to enhancing Wisconsin’s economy and environment though education to business and communities”(University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, 2013). 

            In the examples given, UW SHWEC clearly utilized product demarketing in order to promote their biased agenda.

            Minnesota Pollution Control Agency-MPCA

            Between the MPCA and Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project, there is no question that MPCA is engaging in demarketing activity.  Examples include:

Phase-out and replacement of coal tar-based sealcoats with safer alternatives and practices will reduce loading of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to surface waters and sediments in Great Lakes states and provinces, and reduce hazards to children and vulnerable adults playing, living or working near coal tar-sealed surfaces like drives, parking lots, and playgrounds”(Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2013b);

●” To aid in the transition to safer alternatives, project partners asked sealcoating suppliers and contractors to pledge that they will not sell or apply sealcoats containing coal tar. The companies on this map have all made this pledge, reducing the release of potentially-harmful chemicals into our environment”(Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2013a) and;

The safer alternatives typically work best in a narrower range of surface condition, temperature, and humidity than is needed for coal tar, so the experience of these early-adopting companies could produce better results for pavement owners. However, the final decision on choice of safer alternative and provider rests with the owner, so be sure to ask the questions suggested in the Choosing alternatives to coal tar-based pavement sealcoats guidance and research thoroughly before making your decisions”(Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2013a).  The odd thing about this statement is MPCA wants the consumer to make a “choice” when purchasing sealer, however, MPCA will give you a biased story so the consumer cannot make an informed decision. In addition, Minnesota took the right of consumer choice away from its citizens when they banned coal tar based sealer earlier in 2014.

In part 2, we will examine a second tool know as product deselection or substitution principle which the purpose is to take away a citizen’s right to choose.   

References

 

Armstrong, E. K., & Kern, C. L. (2011). Demarketing manages visitor demand in the Blue Mountains National Park. Journal of Ecotourism, 10(1), 21-37. doi: 10.1080/14724040903427393

Beeton, S., & Benfield, R. (2002). Demand Control: The Case for Demarketing as a Visitor and Environmental Management Tool. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 10(6), 497-513. doi: 10.1080/09669580208667184

Beeton, S., & Pinge, I. (2003). Casting the Holiday Dice: Demarketing Gambling to Encourage Local Tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 6(4), 309-322. doi: 10.1080/13683500308667958

Groff, C. (1998). Demarketing in park and recreation management. Managing Leisure, 3(3), 128-135. doi: 10.1080/136067198376030

Innes, A. (2013, November 20,). Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project Webinar 2:  State/Provincial Programs. from https://sites.google.com/site/greatlakespahreduction/home/fall-2013-webinar-materials

Liebl, D. (2012). Toxic Driveway Sealants=Public Health Hazard. from http://fyi.uwex.edu/shwec/2012/07/09/toxic-driveway-sealants-public-health-hazard/

Medway, D., Warnaby, G., & Dharni, S. (2010). Demarketing places: Rationales and strategies. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(1-2), 124-142. doi: 10.1080/02672571003719096

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2013a). Find companies selling or applying safer sealcoat.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2013b). Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project. from http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/stormwater/stormwater-management/great-lakes-coal-tar-sealcoat-pah-reduction-project/index.html

Shiu, E., Hassan, L. M., & Walsh, G. (2009). Demarketing tobacco through governmental policies – The 4Ps revisited. Journal of Business Research, 62(2), 269-278. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2008.01.034

Sodhi, K. (2011). Has marketing come full circle? Demarketing for sustainability. Business Strategy Series, 12(4), 177-185. doi: 10.1108/17515631111155133

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2012a). Beware of toxic driveway sealants. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4OjVhZWMyNjIzMDdmMzNjYTg

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2012b). Coal Tar-Based Asphalt Sealcoats-A Health and Environmental Hazard. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4Ojc1MzEwNDE5ZjRmMDRkY2U

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2012c). Identifying Coal Tar Based Asphalt Sealcoats-A Guide for Applicators. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4OjFjMmJlMWJkZDk5MTlhNGY

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2013). Applicator’s Contact Letter. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4OjMwNTY1NTYwZmNjMjMwOWU

Wall, A. P. (2005). Government demarketing: different approaches and mixed messages. European Journal of Marketing, 39(5/6), 421-427. doi: 10.1108/03090560510590647

What is the Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project?

What is the Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project?

What is the purpose of Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project?

The Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project goal is “This project supports reduction or phase-out of the use of coal tar-based sealcoats for asphalt pavement surfaces”(Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2013a).  One must note that a different project goal is listed on a non-MPCA website which states “…promote phase-out of coal tar-based pavement sealcoat (CTS) in order to reduce environmental loading of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)”(Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project, n.d.).  Note that the consistent phase between the two definitions is “phase out”.  Product phase-outs (bans) are accomplished by the use of product demarketing and deselection.  Kotler and Levy (1971) define the concept of demarketing as “that aspect of marketing that deals with discouraging  customers in general or a certain class of customer in particular on either a temporary or permanent basis” (p. 75).  Product deselection is a campaign of misinformation and junk science for the sole purpose of discouraging product demand (Hall, 2011).  Product demarketing and deselection are tied to the notions of pollution prevention, the substitution principle and the precautionary principle.  These two advocate tools will be explored in a future posting.  Common ideas among these three concepts are vagueness of definition, non-science based and are prone to abuse by advocates and politicians.

Who are members of this group and what is their role?

This project group is made up of several organizational groups including:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)

MPCA act as administrator for the Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project.  On September 12, 2013 MPCA is awarded a grant from EPA Region 5 Great Lakes National Program (Great Lake Restoration Initiative) in the amount of $207,000 for the project title: “Reduction of PAH releases from CTS” (Grant #00E00814-3)(U.S. EPA-Greal Lakes Retoration Initative 2012).  It should be noted that various environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGO) was also involved by way of grants provided by MPCA. Project activity includes:

●Approach manufacturers, suppliers and retailers (Al Innes, 2013a);

●Track phase-outs(Al Innes, 2013a);

●“Experts” support preservation role and performance of alternative (Al Innes, 2013a);

●Outreach to property owners and managers (Al Innes, 2013a) and;

●Applicator/supplier no-CTS pledge(Al Innes, 2013a).

            The MPCA also engages in product demarketing and deselection.  Referring to the MPCA web page titled “moving to safer alternatives to coal tar sealcoats”, this page nothing but product demarketing and deselection campaign (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2013b).  In addition, MPCA uses selective information in this campaign in that MPCA only used information that help support their claims.  One assumes that since MPCA touts itself as a science-based organization and that evidence-based investigates hold the key to the true.  The person using that assumption is wrong and MPCA utilizes selective and citation bias to help support their argument. 

 

            US EPA (US EPA)

Supplied grants to MPCA and University of Wisconsin Extension Cooperative under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Program(U.S. EPA-Greal Lakes Retoration Initative 2012; U.S. EPA-Pollution Prevention, 2013).  According to grant documentation, these grants we issued by EPA knowing they were for the purpose of product demarketing and deselection.  Other than providing funding to MPCA and UW SHWEC with grants, it is unclear what EPA’s role is within the Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project.

            University of Wisconsin-Extension Cooperative Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center (UW SHWEC)

            On April 22, 2013 The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point was awarded a grant from EPA Region 5 Great Lakes National program (EPA Great Lake Restoration Initiative) in the amount of $101,156 for the program titled “Pollution prevention grant program” which will help businesses go green by reduce the use of CTS and more green sealants (Grant #00E01053-1)(U.S. EPA-Pollution Prevention, 2013).

            There are many examples of demarketing coal tar based pavement sealer by UW SHWEC.  What make this demarketing even more severe (considering this is an academic institution) is that SHWEC was selectively utilizing the studies that gave the largest negative impact.  Since these were produced in an academic setting, this would be an example of citation and selection biases (Liebl, 2012; University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, 2012a, 2012b, 2012c).  In no way was SHWEC utilizing the body of literature that shows that disproves theories advanced by USGS, MPCA and others.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MI DEQ)-Pollution Prevention Program

MI DEQ’s role within the group is unknown at this point.  MI DEQ does have a pollution protection program. 

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)

  This organization is an environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGO) that “is dedicated to promote information exchange and networking to pollution prevention (P2) professionals in the Great Lakes Region of the United States and Canada” (Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable, n.d.-a).  The organization states that “GLRPPR is your link to quality pollution prevention information, research, and expertise. GLRPPR has assisted thousands of industries, organizations, small businesses, and citizens within the Great Lakes Region to locate quality information and resources about compliance and pollution prevention. GLRPPR and its members are working together to make a cleaner tomorrow for the Great Lakes Region”(Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable, n.d.-a).  Member organizations include MPCA, University of Wisconsin SHWEC, U.S. EPA and MI DEQ(Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable, n.d.-b).  Specific members shown are Al Innes from MPCA and Dave Liebl from University of Wisconsin SHWEC(Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable, n.d.-b).

            The sole purpose of Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project is to engage in product demarketing and deselection which will damage the market of coal tar based pavement sealer.  We have observed that there are many examples of these two activities occurring.  Al Innes from MPCA even stated these actions are to “phase-out” (ban) this product(Al Innes, 2013b; Al  Innes, 2013).  It ironic when a NGO or government entity states that they wish to help business.  Why then, are their action the opposite of what they stated? 

 

References

Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project. (n.d.). PAH Reduction through Phase-Out of Coal Tar-Based Pavement Sealcoats. from https://sites.google.com/site/greatlakespahreduction/home

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. (n.d.-a). About GLRPPR. from http://glrppr.org/aboutus/glrppr_brochure.pdf

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. (n.d.-b). GLRPPR members. from http://glrppr.org/memberlist/

Hall, B. (2011). Defending against product de-selection attacks-Where do we stand? Paper presented at the SPI’s Flexibile Vinyl Products 22nd Annual Conference, Bulington, VT. http://spi.files.cms-plus.com/about/VPD/Tuesday%207.%20Bill%20Hall-%20Venable%20%3D%20Defending%20Against%20Unwarranted%20Product%20De-Selection%20Attacks.pdf

Innes, A. (2013a, October 29, ). Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project Webinar 1:  Overview of Issues. from https://sites.google.com/site/greatlakespahreduction/home/fall-2013-webinar-materials

Innes, A. (2013b, November 20,). Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project Webinar 2:  State/Provincial Programs. from https://sites.google.com/site/greatlakespahreduction/home/fall-2013-webinar-materials

Innes, A. (2013). Webinar 1:  Overview of Issues. Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4OjEwZWQzNmU5OGU5Y2Y1YzI

Kotler, P., & Levy, S. (1971). Demarketing, Yes, Demarketing. Harvard Business Review, 49(6), 74-80.

Liebl, D. (2012). Toxic Driveway Sealants=Public Health Hazard. from http://fyi.uwex.edu/shwec/2012/07/09/toxic-driveway-sealants-public-health-hazard/

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2013a). Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project. from http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/stormwater/stormwater-management/great-lakes-coal-tar-sealcoat-pah-reduction-project/index.html

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2013b). Moving to safer alternatives to coal tar sealcoats. from http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/stormwater/stormwater-management/moving-to-safer-alternatives-to-coal-tar-sealcoats.html

U.S. EPA-Greal Lakes Retoration Initative (2012). 2011 grants. from http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/glri/2011grants.html

U.S. EPA-Pollution Prevention. (2013). Fiscal year 2012 pollution prevention grant summaries. from http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/ppis/p2sum2012.html

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2012a). Beware of toxic driveway sealants. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4OjVhZWMyNjIzMDdmMzNjYTg

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2012b). Coal Tar-Based Asphalt Sealcoats-A Health and Environmental Hazard. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4Ojc1MzEwNDE5ZjRmMDRkY2U

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension-Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center. (2012c). Identifying Coal Tar Based Asphalt Sealcoats-A Guide for Applicators. from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxncmVhdGxha2VzcGFocmVkdWN0aW9ufGd4OjFjMmJlMWJkZDk5MTlhNGY