IJIMT 2018 Vol.9(3): 124-129 ISSN: 2010-0248
doi: 10.18178/ijimt.2018.9.3.800

Bait & Switch: Corporate Makeover or Destroyer

Benson Nwaorgu
Abstract— Advertisement is the basic tool used for getting a customer into a store, physical or otherwise. There is truthful advertisement and then there is deceptive advertisement. This paper ventures on examining a type of deceptive advertisement tactic called “Bait-and-Switch”. This form of deceptive marketing has gained a great deal of attention and notoriety worldwide, in both international court systems and in media. Current study unveils various forms of Bait-and-Switch tactics, thereby describing the phenomenon in general as well as legal context. It establishes the legality of this tactic, exploring the lawful aspects of Bait-and-Switch (BnS), distinguishing it from a fraud, by explicating its implementation in retail, sale, and departmental store market, as well as its significance the court of law. It also reviews the policies and guidelines of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding Bait-and-Switch. Focus is given on how BnS strategies are driving sales in small and medium Enterprises (SME). Models for Bait-and-Switch established the conditions for equilibrium to exist and reveal that even though use of BnS is a seemingly profitable tactic to get the consumer to buy what is being sold, it can lead to lost sales, thereby suggesting BnS to be non-profitable to the seller in the long run. The study further gathered data from the consumers and examined the effect of BnS on purchase decisions, by categorizing subjects based on income. Findings establish the role of income in these decisions. As low-income groups never shift to substituted product owing to their financial limitations. High income group on the contrary show much more flexibility in shifting towards the substituted product. The study is significant for the businesses looking for getting profitable by using BnS, as well as for the consumers as they look for better utilization of their resources.

Index Terms— Bait-and-switch, deceptive, FTC, advertising, management.

Benson Nwaorgu is with Dept Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business Management, Kauno Technologijos Universitetas, Kaunas, Lithuania (e-mail: Benson.nwaorgu@ktu.edu).

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Cite: Benson Nwaorgu, " Bait & Switch: Corporate Makeover or Destroyer," International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 124-129, 2018.

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